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Linda Kellett - Fort Plain Police officers Ryan Hernigle, Ed Ashley and Tory Sitterly, assisted by officials with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, escort suspected drug dealers and individuals picked up on bench warrants to a waiting van bound for the Montgomery County Jail. Among the dozen or so people arrested on Monday include (from the left) Ronald Hogan Jr., in the jumpsuit; Timothy Hart, of Fort Plain; Kelly M. Kennedy (formerly Kelly Stevens), of Fultonville;  Raymond Mojica, of Fort Plain; Tyler Kuntzsch, of Fort Plain; and Elizabeth F. Fowler, of Fort Plain.


Fort Plain police cap a six-month investigation with several arrests

Monday, December 10, 2012 - Updated: 8:00 AM


C-S-E News Staff

FORT PLAIN — Warrants have been issued for the arrest of three individuals who remain at large in connection with a sweep that netted Fort Plain Police nearly a dozen suspected drug dealers on Monday.

That’s according to Fort Plain Police Chief Robert Thomas III on Tuesday, who said two of the individuals that law enforcement officials were unable to locate during the early-week initiative heard they were being sought and contacted police. As of Tuesday afternoon, however, they had yet to appear, he said.

The arrests culminated a six-month-long investigation by Fort Plain Police, who were assisted in Monday’s round-up by personnel from area law enforcement agencies. A number of other individuals were arrested on bench warrants out of Minden Town Court for their alleged failure to pay fines or to appear for court dates.

Among those arrested on drug charges throughout the day included Ronald W. Hogan Jr., formerly of 70 Main St., Fort Plain, who was already being held in the Montgomery County Jail on prior charges. Felony charges of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance (narcotics), both Class B felonies, were added to the already lengthy list of charges against him. Prior charges included grand larceny and burglary.

Also arrested in the sweep were Kelly M. Kennedy, 42, of 9 York St., Fultonville, who was arrested on a warrant from a previous investigation charging her with second-degree criminal sale of marijuana, a Class E felony; Nicholas Yager, 25, of 6 Willett St., Fort Plain, who was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony, and violation of probation, a Class A misdemeanor; and Raymond Mojica, 30, of 158 Mill St., Canajoharie, who was charged with the criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance, felonies.

In addition Elizabeth F. Fowler, 35, and Douglas Ostrander, 28, all of 88 Main St., Fort Plain, were charged with third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and first-degree criminal nuisance, all felonies. During a briefing at the Fort Plain Firemen’s Home prior to the round-up Monday morning, Fort Plain Police Chief Robert Thomas III told arresting officers that it was believed there were “tons of pills” at that Main Street residence.

Others charged with the felony sale and possession of narcotic drugs were Deedo L. Cook, 56, of 18 Cross St., Fort Plain; Joshua Tomlinson, 21, of 8 Railroad St., Nelliston; Ginger Horning, 41, of 25 LaFayette St., Palatine Bridge; and Timothy M. Hart, 29, who told the court he resides at 22 River St., Apt. 2, Fort Plain. Cook was also charged with first-degree criminal mischief.

All were sent to the Montgomery County Jail pending bail.

With the exception of Kennedy, whose bail was set at $500 cash or $1,000 bond, all of the other suspects’ bail was set at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond.

Minden Town Justice Susan Buddles entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of all those facing drug charges. Additionally, she reserved their right to a felony hearing once counsel has been obtained. All completed applications for representation by the Public Defender’s office. They are due to return to town court on Jan. 28, 2013, at 5 p.m.

Thomas during the briefing noted 11 suspects, at least one of whom was believed to have a weapon, were being sought in connection with the drug charges; and officials seized one vehicle.

Thirteen individuals were being sought on bench warrants alleging they neglected to pay fines or to appear in court.

Among those picked up on warrants were Tyler Kuntzsch, 23, of 355 Airport Road, Fort Plain, who was arrested for his alleged failure to appear in court on Vehicle and Traffic charges and a felony charge of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was remanded to the Montgomery County Jail and held in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond.

Others picked up included Sarah L. MacDonald, 20, of 3230 State Highway 80, Fort Plain, and Rapheal E. Medina, 30, of 25 River St., Fort Plain, who were arrested for their alleged failure to pay fines.

Individuals who paid their fines had the warrants vacated and their cases closed.

Thomas noted that word got out about the warrant arrests during the sweep, and other people responded to the court and paid their fines before police could arrest them.

Among agencies assisting with the arrests were the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Probation and the state Division of Parole.

Others assisting included Montgomery County District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy, the Gloversville Police Department and New York State Police.

According to Thomas, this is the sixth joint operation of this nature since 2006, with the village conducting its own investigations in connection with the two most recent. Prior investigations have involved the state Department of Taxation and Finance, the Sheriff’s Office, the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

He said, “I want people to understand that the tax dollars they’re spending are being used in Vehicle and Traffic [enforcement], criminal investigations and to get drugs out of the community... Drug investigations take a long time. We have to have intel, a way into a residence, make the buy” and the like.

Citing the example of a prior investigation, he said a couple of women came to the police station to inform officials about suspected drug activity in a residence.

During the subsequent investigation, police used video and audio surveillance as well as bringing in undercover police officers from another jurisdiction. “It was almost six months to the day” before police were able to effect arrests in the case, Thomas said.

He encouraged anyone with information about suspected drug or criminal activity in the village to contact the local police at (518) 993-3781.


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