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NJ man sentenced to prison for attempted Massena burglary

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CANTON — A New Jersey man was sentenced to state prison for his involvement in the attempted burglary of a Massena home in 2011

Edwin B. Spears, 39, 7 Chapel Court, Neptune, N.J., was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards for a second-degree attempted burglary conviction.

Spears was accused of taking an IPhone and an IPad from the home of the mother of a woman with whom he used to live.

Chris A. Lavine, 36, Norwood; Derek Falls, 44, Montreal; and Phillipe N. Gravel, 24, Quebec City were also charged for entering the home of Sandra Dupuis, 528 Pontoon Bridge Road, with Spears.

Falls and Gravel on Thursday pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree conspiracy and will be sentenced Jan. 13. Both are free on $20,000 bail.

Charges against Mr. Lavine were dismissed.

State police had charged the four men with second-degree and third-degree burglary Dec. 5, 2011. Lavine was located at his residence, while the other three men were taken into custody in the Ground Round parking lot in Plattsburgh after being located by state and federal drug task force members.

Spears was allegedly one of key players charged in a December 2007 indictment that allegedly found ties between the Luchesse crime family and the Bloods street gang following a lengthy undercover operation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

Spears, Falls and Lavine allegedly entered Ms. Dupuis’s residence on the Pontoon Bridge Road in Massena at approximately 2:45 p.m. Dec. 5, 2011 and demanded to know where they could find her daughter, Kimberly Kemison.

Testimony during a preliminary hearing in Massena Village Court linked Ms. Kemison to drug smuggling, and Ms. Dupuis said one of the men told her his daughter owed him approximately a quarter of a million dollars.

She also said Lavine, whom she knew because her daughter had lived with him for a period of time a number of years earlier, told her Kim was in a lot of trouble. Ms. Dupuis said she doesn’t know where her daughter is living currently.

Ms. Dupuis said Spears went upstairs in her residence, and she heard banging around. She noted she later discovered damage to a door and an upstairs’s hallway at her residence. She said Lavine spent most of his time on the back porch, while Falls remained in the kitchen.

She testified the three men walked out of her residence with her cell phone, Ipad and an apron that contained the tips she had earned working that day at a Massena restaurant. Ms. Dupuis said she had followed the men outside her residence in an unsuccessful effort to get her items back. The men also allegedly entered a detached garage, where they removed a set of keys from the ignition of a vehicle, court documents said.

Lavine was arrested at his home in Norwood later that evening, and the other three men were picked up by troopers in the parking lot of a Plattsburgh restaurant.

Massena-based Bureau of Criminal Investigation Investigator Andrew Gayeskie said he had removed a cell phone, an Ipad and a rental agreement signed by Gravel from a 2011 Dodge Challenger that had been impounded at NYSP-Plattsburgh. He said when he turned the Ipad on Ms. Dupuis’ home page appeared on the screen.

A state police investigator had said he learned from his interviews the two Canadian men had traveled into New York state by bus on the evening of Dec. 1, 2011 and went to New York City.

They reportedly rented a vehicle and were joined on a trip north on the evening on Dec. 4, 2011. They arrived in Plattsburgh at approximately 2 a.m. Dec. 5, 2011, spent the night at a hotel and then left Plattsburgh at approximately 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. that day on a trip that eventually brought the trio to Lavine’s home following a stop at another friend’s house. They then followed Lavine’s directions to Ms. Kemison’s mother’s home in Massena, the state police investigator testified.

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