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Police Log April 12, 2012

Geidel sentenced to 42 months in jail for fraud

Timothy Geidel, 48, of Hamburg, has been sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to a term of 42 months in prison and was ordered to pay $1.3 million dollars in restitution, following his guilty plea to wire fraud and structuring for defrauding more than 40 investors out of $1.3 million.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., while working as an investment adviser with Georgetown Capital Group, Inc., Geidel diverted investor funds to his own use.

Between 1990 and 2010, Geidel gave victims, many of them Hamburg and Evans residents, the impression that he invested their money in high yield stocks, bonds, mutual funds and certificates of deposit.

Instead of investing funds as he indicated to his victims, the defendant diverted some of the funds to his own use by depositing the money into his personal bank accounts. He also used some of the funds to pay off earlier investors to perpetuate the scheme.

The guilty plea was a culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agent Gregory Grammicioni of the Secret Service, under the direction of Tracy Gast, special agent in charge and Special Agent Thomas Egloff of the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Victor Lessoff, acting special agent in charge, New York Field Office. Detectives of the towns of Evans, Hamburg and West Seneca also assisted and contributed to this investigation.

Fatal motorcycle accident

A Hamburg man riding a motorcycle was killed Tuesday, April 3 when he struck a tractor-trailer at about 7:55 p.m. while traveling on Route 20.

According to Town of Hamburg Police, Allan Wittmeyer, 48, of Hamburg, was operating a motorcycle which was headed west on Route 20, when witnesses said it veered into the path of an eastbound tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer driver was not injured and the possible cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Fire extinguisher cause of fire alarm call at LSHS

At 5:48 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, Town of Evans Police and members of the Evans Center and Lake Erie Beach fire departments responded to a fire alarm activation at the Lake Shore Central High School in Evans.

According to police, after arriving on location, it was determined that there was smoke in the basement of the school.

No fire could be located but further investigation revealed that the source of the smoke was from a discharged older model fire extinguisher.

As part of multiple safety precautions, the Erie County HazMat was called and tests were run at the school, before it was cleared to resume normal activities.

No injuries were reported and the police are continuing their investigation as to who was responsible for discharging the fire extinguisher.

Assisting in the incident were the Angola, Brant, Eden, Highland and Newton Abbott fire departments.

Fire destroys Hamburg home, pets perish

Lake Shore volunteer firefighters responded to a fire at a Willow Lane home at 1:57 a.m. on Saturday, April 7.

According to police, the occupants of the home were able to get out of the building, but they were not able to rescue the family pets.

The homeowner was treated at Erie County Medical Center for minor burns to her hands and smoke inhalation, police said.

Responding to the fire was Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company, who were assisted by the following fire companies and departments: Armor, Big Tree, Hamburg , Newton-Abbott, Woodlawn, Scranton, Lake View, Highland, Blasdell, Eden, North Evans, North Boston and Windom.

Roll-over accident in Boston linked to DWI

On Wednesday, April 4, Erie County Sheriff Deputy Timothy Colling responded to a one car roll over accident which had occurred on Lower East Hill Road in the Town of Boston, just south of Wohlhueter Road.

According to police, Colling observed that the driver, Mary Vella, 56, of the Town of Concord, showed signs of intoxication.

After failing several field sobriety tests, Vella was charged with driving while intoxicated.

DWI arrest on reservation

While on patrol on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation at 5:27 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4, Erie County Sheriff Deputies Christopher Soluri and Neil Held responded to a report of a woman passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle while parked at a business on Route 5. After investigating the complaint, Nancy L. Scott, 43 of Gowanda was charged with driving while intoxicated.

According to police, Scott refused to submit to a breath test to determine her blood alcohol content. She was processed at the North Collins substation and released on appearance tickets.

Felony DWAI by drugs

At 4:42 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, Town of Evans Police received a call about a vehicle being operated in an erratic manner coming up Old Lake Shore Road from Hamburg.

The vehicle was found at the parking area of the Eighteen Mile Creek fishing access by Officer Joseph LaRosa.

According to police, the vehicle operator, John C. Johnson, 27, of Buffalo, was found to have impaired motor skills, slurred speech and there was an odor of suspected marijuana inside the vehicle.

Further investigation revealed several different pills in the vehicle, along with a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana on the center console, along with a tin foil pipe.

One pill was later identified as Alprazolam (Xanax), a controlled substance.

Johnson was charged with felony driving while ability impaired by drugs, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

DWI arrests in Hamburg

The following driving while intoxicated arrests where made on Monday, April 9 by the Town of Hamburg Police Department.

• At 2:18 a.m. Officer Daniel Cronmiller responded to a call there was a gray jeep traveling at a high rate of speed and “all over the road” on Lake Shore Road.

Cronmiller found the jeep off the road, on its side in the front yard of a Lake Shore Road residence, with flames coming from the engine compartment.

According to police, Cronmiller put the fire out using a fire extinguisher and found the driver, Christopher M. Ritchie, 29, of West Seneca, conscious, but pinned inside the vehicle. Cronmiller also noticed a strong odor of alcohol beverage coming from Ritchie’s breath.

The vehicle had to be cut open to extricate Ritchie, who according to police became very belligerent and argumentative at the emergency personnel and swore repeatedly at them.

He was transported to the Erie County Medical Center by the Lake Shore Fire Department, where he allegedly continued to be very belligerent, disrespectful and argumentative with the hospital staff as they were trying to treat him.

Ritchie was charged with DWI, unlawful possession of marijuana (a small plastic container of suspected marijuana was found in the driver’s side door of the jeep), failure to use designated lane and speed not reasonable and prudent.

• At 3:29 a.m. Officer David Jasinski stopped a vehicle that was speeding on Morgan Parkway and had side windows which were tinted too dark.

According to police, when the driver’s side window was lowered, an odor of an alcoholic beverage was emitted from the interior of the vehicle.

The vehicle operator, Gary Colson, 36, of Hamburg, was asked to perform several field sobriety tests, which he failed.

Colson was charged with felony DWI (previous DWI conviction), speeding and equipment violation for nontransparent side windows.

DWI arrests in Evans

At 11:53 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, Town of Evans Police Officers Joseph LaRosa and Frederick Garrasi III observed a vehicle traveling east on Route 5 at approximately 43 mph in a 55 mph zone and driving in both east bound lanes.

According to police, they followed the vehicle, observed the vehicle enter the left passing lane without signalling, weave within the driving lanes, before crossing the double lines and then swerve back into the proper lane.

After stopping the vehicle, while speaking to the driver, Beth A. Rafanowicz, 28, of West Seneca, LaRosa detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath.

After failing some of the field sobriety tests, Rafanowicz was charged with felony driving while intoxicated (previous DWI convictions) felony operating a motor vehicle with .08 of 1 percent or more alcohol with two prior convictions in the past 10 years, illegal signal, driving to left of pavement markings and moving from lane unsafely.

• At 10:37 p.m. on Monday, April 9, Town of Evans Police Officer Matthew Stonitsch observed a vehicle traveling at about 52 mph in 40 mph zone on Erie Road.

According to police, when the patrol car emergency lights were activated, the suspect vehicle sped up, to about 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer activated the siren and the suspect vehicle continued at 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, refusing to stop.

Stonitsch called into the station to report that the vehicle was refusing to stop. Lt. Peter Smith authorized Officer Brian Kauzala to place stop sticks onto Erie Road in front of the Evans Center Fire Hall in an effort to stop the suspect’s vehicle.

The suspect attempted to go around the sticks, but did strike them, causing the driver’s side front tire to go flat.

The driver, Sharon L. Delmonte, 29, of Buffalo, was taken into custody.

According to police, Delmonte was transported back to the police station where she allegedly became combative, kicking the lobby doors.

Delmonte refused to recite the alphabet, take the alco-sensor test and the breath test.

Delmonte was charged with DWI, third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on the highway (open bottles of beer were found inside the vehicle), three counts of speeding, reckless driving, refusal to take breath test and five other vehicle and traffic violations.

Heroin and cocaine found

At 9:25 p.m. on Friday, April 6, while on patrol on Route 5 near St. Francis Drive, Town of Hamburg Police Officer Jeffery Paluch observed a vehicle being operated in an erratic manner.

The vehicle was stopped and Paluch, along with Narcotics Officer Jeffrey Bullard, observed drug paraphernalia on the front floor and in the ash tray of the vehicle.

After agreeing to a search of the vehicle, David C. Venti, 22, of Hamburg, exited the vehicle and Officer Nicholas Borowski with K-9 Endy, located a small plastic bag containing suspected cocaine in a pocket on the driver’s side door.

Also located in the vehicle was a small plastic bag with suspected heroin, used cotton balls, cap with residue and 13 hypodermic needles.

Venti was taken into custody and searched, where a small plastic bag containing suspected heroin was found in his left front pant’s pocket.

He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument.

Venti was arraigned before Hamburg Town Justice Walter Rooth, who set bail at $5,000. Venti was transported to the holding center in lieu of bail, with a return court date of Friday, April 13.

Underage drinking arrest

At 12:08 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, Town of Evans Police Officer Nathan Miller stopped a vehicle on Erie Road for a traffic violation.

While speaking to the driver, Anthony J. Poorten, 20, of Hamburg, Miller noticed an open pill container by his feet in the vehicle.

According to police, Poorten was argumentative and was also acting very nervous.

He did consent to having the vehicle searched and admitted to police he had one half of a suboxone pill in his pocket. Also located in the vehicle was an open container of beer on the passenger floor.

Poorten was charged with controlled substance in non-original container, unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on the highway and no seat belt.

Child endangerment

Town of Hamburg Police have charged Anthony J. Dubreville, 21, of Hamburg, with acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, in connection with an incident which occurred on Tuesday, April 3.

According to police, Dubreville picked up two 14-year-old girls across the street from the Hamburg High School and drove with them to the Seneca Nation Reservation to buy cigarettes. He then allegedly stopped on the way back to Hamburg and bought two fruit punch flavored Four Loco alcoholic beverages to give to the girls.

One girl drank both of them, according to the statement made by Dubreville, and became very intoxicated.

He allegedly drove her back to her residential area, where she got sick and was weaving around when they were found by the girl’s mother, who had contacted police and was out looking for her.

Unlawful imprisonment

On 7:21 a.m. on Monday, April 2, Town of Evans Police responded to a domestic call, where the victim was prevented from leaving the residence by Clayton J. Williams, 29, of Evans.

According to police, Williams had been drinking all weekend and demanded money from the victim to purchase more alcohol. When the victim refused, Williams became angry, threw food around the kitchen and blocked the door to prevent the victim from leaving the residence.

Police said Williams was intoxicated when they arrived at the scene.

Williams was charged with second-degree harassment and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

Town of Brant report

During the month of March, the Town of Brant Police successfully closed a burglary complaint that occurred on Railroad Avenue with the arrest of an Angola resident. Brant officers were assisted by two members of the Evans Police Department.

Currently, the Brant Police Department is actively participating in the Buckle Up New York and Aggressive Driving programs and there will be extra patrols out enforcing the seatbelt laws.

In March, the department handled 1,090 complaints.

This included two accident calls (no injuries), two felony arrests, 12 misdemeanor arrests, one violation arrests, four criminal complaints and 11 non-criminal complaints.

There were 13 first aid, one fire alarm, 28 assists to other agencies, 481 premises checked, 27 money escorts, one funeral escort, 53 assists to motorists, two assists to the dog control, five community policing and four court bailiff duty.

Police officers issued 283 traffic and vehicle violations, one parking ticket and patrolled a total of 3,688 miles.

Town of Evans report

During the month of March, the Town of Evans Police Dispatchers took care of 2,614 complaints.

This included 34 accident calls, 162 ambulance calls, three assaults, eight criminal mischief, five domestic incidents, seven drug, five loud music, 20 fire and 14 false alarms, 20 harassment and 19 larcenies.

There were 121 animal complaints, eight neighbor disputes, two sex crimes were reported, 12 trespasses, three missing persons, 143 premise checks, 263 community policing, 15 assists to motorists and 21 welfare checks.

Nineteen prisoners were held in the Town of Evans lockup.

There were 126 police reports filed and 21 accidents were reported to the state.

Police officers issued 300 traffic violations, which included 73 for speeding, 15 were driving while intoxicated related, 47 were license/permit violations, 18 red lights, 64 required motor vehicle equipment, 10 vehicle registration violations, 11 stop signs, 40 others and 13 seatbelt violations.

From the Detective Bureau, there were 83 people charged, mostly for violations of the state’s penal law, alcohol beverage control law and vehicle and traffic laws. Six people were charged with DWI.

The Dog Control Officer issued seven appearance tickets.

Village of N.C. report

During the month of March, Village of North Collins Police were on duty for 152 hours and responded to 48 calls

This included one motor vehicle accident, two reports of suspicious vehicles, one criminal mischief complaint, one felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation arrest, two disturbances, one domestic, one attempted suicide, one report of a fire, one dog attack on a resident, one alarm, one 911 hang-up, two assists to the North Collins Emergency Squad, one assist to the North Collins Fire Department, four assists to other police agencies (one of these assists included a vehicle chase through multiple townships for the report of a suicidal man with a gun), one funeral escort and four court details.

Officers issued 28 traffic violations which included 16 tickets for speeding, two for cell phone use, three for expired inspections, two for equipment violations, one for stop sign violations, one for felony DWI, one for felony aggravated unlicensed operation, one for an open container of alcohol in a vehicle and one for refusing an alcohol screening test.

Regular property checks were conducted of schools, businesses, public and vacant properties.
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