Recent news stories about 420 events (groups openly indulging in the use of marijuana) used the terms protest, counterculture, and anti-establishment, calling to mind two things for me: life as a teenager in the 1960s, and the 40-year-old so-called “War on Drugs.” Just as invasive searches of elderly and very young airline passengers is a massive waste of money and resources today, the war on drugs has squandered untold billions of dollars battling the use of marijuana, a drug far less costly to the nation than alcohol. (And no, I’m not anti-booze.) Hard drugs deserve the attention of the law (their use leads to so many other crimes), and as a former employee of a major pharmaceutical firm, I’d suggest that many common, legal drugs should be used sparingly at best. But I digress. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘State Police’
Lawrence P. Gooley has published another outstanding chronicle of Adirondack history, Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow. The book chronicles the story of Garrow, an abused Dannemora child, turned thief, serial rapist and killer who admitted to seven rapes and four murders, although police believed there were many more. Among his victims were campers near Speculator where Garrow escaped a police dragnet and traveled up Route 30 through Indian Lake and Long Lake and eventually made his way to Witherbee where he was tracked down and shot in the foot. Claiming he was partially paralyzed, Garrow sued the State of New York for $10 million for negligence in his medical care. In exchange for dropping the suit, Garrow was moved to a medium security prison. He was shot and killed during a prison escape in September 1978 – he had faked his paralysis.
Gooley, who lived the story in the 1970s, says the book tells “a remarkable story, with repercussions locally, statewide, and nationwide.” “For climbers like me, it was a terrible time in the mountains,” he said. “Seeing the evidence of what he did to some of his victims confirmed for me that we were right to be wary three decades ago.”
“I researched his entire life story from birth to grave, and it really is an amazing story,” Gooley told the Almanack. “There has been much misinformation on parts of his story, and it has been repeated on many websites and in newspaper stories over the years.” Gooley says he used multiple sources in order to “get the story right,” including about 2,000 pages of official court transcripts. “That gave me proof that even Garrow’s attorney changed the story,” the author said, “telling tales 35 years later that directly contradict the official court record. He may not like certain parts of my commentary, but he’ll know I’m right.”
Two years ago, Gooley won the Adirondack center For Writing’s Award for Nonfiction for Oliver’s War: An Adirondack Rebel Battles the Rockefeller Fortune. He actually interrupted his work on Terror in the Adirondacks to tell that story of Brandon Civil War veteran Oliver Lamora’s battle with William Rockefeller, brother of John D. Rockefeller. Gooley optioned the movie rights to a New York City company, which is still seeking funding for the film. “Several interesting things happened in connection with that book, including a call from a NY Times editor and a visit from a member of the Rockefeller family,” Gooley said, “It certainly has been interesting.”
The book was published by Gooley’s own Bloated Toe Enterprises and can be purchased online and at smaller stores in the Clinton-Essex-Franklin county area.
December 5th marks the anniversary of the end of Prohibition in 1933. To remember that time when the social life of so many Americans was made criminal overnight, I thought I would offer this little nugget from the July 2, 1931 Ticonderoga Sentinel. One wonders if the men arrested here ever served any hard time. I suspect they did.
Federal prohibition agents, assisted by state troopers, early Tuesday morning seized a [1,500-gallon] still in a remote section of West Hague, Warren county, and placed under arrest five men who comprised the “night shift” of the establishment.
The men were held in the Ticonderoga jail until Tuesday afternoon when they were arraigned before U.S. Commissioner David S. Fisk in Hudson Falls, who released the prisoners on bond of $1,000 each.
Two of the men, Natale Morino of Rutland, Vt., and Joseph Goricalo of Witherbee, were released pending a hearing tomorrow, and the remaining three waived examination, and
were ordered to appear before Federal court at Malone on July 7th. The trio gave their names as Patrick Natti and John LaFerne of Newark, New Jersey, and Patrick Chioffi of Troy.
The plant was reported as one of the largest ever seized in this part of the state, and it is believed by Federal authorities that the still served as a source of a large proportion of the alcohol illicitly sold throughout northern New York and eastern Vermont.
The distillery was equipped with the most expensive apparatus, and the raiders estimated the cost of the complete outlay at about $3,500. The agents reported they found 300 gallons of alcohol, sixty barrels of yeast, two tons of coke, 34,500 gallons of mash, four 3,000 gallon vats and one 1,500 gallon vat.
Also Included in the equipment was a 25-horsepower upright steam boiler, a 1,500 gallon still and a 50 gallon condenser.
All the apparatus was dismantled and taken to Albany. The alcohol and yeast were destroyed.
A strange thing happened after a windstorm a couple of weeks ago. I saw a New York State Police car show up at my neighbor’s camp. The trooper got out, and carried into the nearby woods the fairly large top of a tree that had fallen in front of the building. It took him four or five trips to get all the branches into the woods. When he was done, he climbed back into his car and drove away.
So what was the State Trooper doing clearing my neighbor’s yard of blowdown? Turns out, my neighbor is one of many part-time residents in the region who get New York State Police protection for seasonal camps as a part of the State Police’s Posted Property Program. A program, that “has been around longer than anyone currently with our agency can remember,” according to a State Police spokesperson. Homes so designated are posted with the sign you see here.
“As a service to the public, we post and inspect summer homes, summer camps and similar buildings that are unoccupied from October 1 to May 1,” I was told in an e-mail, “this merely entails occasional checks of the property when a trooper is on patrol in the area of the property.”
The next time I saw a trooper make a stop at the cabin across the way (he was checking the door handle), I asked why he cleared that downed treetop. He told me he had cleared the debris because he didn’t want the house to appear unoccupied. He also told me that he stops every time he patrols the area – I’ve seen him show up every few days, and no doubt have missed a few of his visits.
According to the State Police spokesperson, the agency does not post buildings located in villages that have an organized police departments, buildings that are not secure, or summer motels, hotels or other commercial property. Presumably they are required to protect their own property by using a local security firm.
I suspect the State Police keep the program pretty hush-hush. After all, it wouldn’t take too many folks taking advantage of their free home security program to keep police too busy for speed traps or safety belt road blocks.
According to the State Police, property owners who want their tax supported local security services between October and May should send a letter to their local Troop Commander and include the following information:
—the exact location of the property
—the owner’s name, winter address and a phone number where they can be contacted in an emergency, and
—if there is a caretaker, their name, address and phone number(s)
Oh . . . and don’t forget to call the security folks in town and let them know you’ve found someone better—someone who actually keeps the yard clear, and carries a gun.
The New York State Police are continuing their investigation into the armed bank robbery at the Community Bank in Tupper Lake on April 10th. They have released the following identifying information on $50.00 bills that were stolen during the robbery:
Serial Number / Federal Reserve Bank District # / Series
IB30849903A / B2 / 2006
GA01293917A / A1 / 2004
AD52511085A / D4 / 1996
EB23155745A / B2 / 2004
1B81072465A / B2 / 2006
GB32244863A / B2 / 2004
GB19388624A / B2 / 2004
EF06406154A / F6 / 2004
CL08247764A / L12 / 2001
The State Police are requesting folks compare $50.00 bills in their possession with the ones reported stolen during the robbery. If anyone has information about this currency, they should contact the New York State Police at 518-897-2000.
The robber of a Tupper Lake bank (in a presumably fake beard and mustache, left) is still at large, six days after the heist. This is unusual in the Adirondacks. The general wisdom is that nobody has pulled off a bank robbery inside the Blue Line, at least in recent memory. Hold up a bank? Sure, quite a few have done that. But get away? That’s the trick.
There are only so many forest-lined roads in and out of any Adirondack town, and if the police are quick with roadblocks, the theory goes, it’s simple enough to sweat out the thief. In the 1970s, cops caught the robbers of a Willsboro bank waiting for the Essex ferry to Vermont.
Others, such as a husband and wife in St. Regis Falls, were picked up locally within hours, and a guy who took off on foot from Adirondack Bank in Lake Placid was met by police on the Saranac Lake end of the Jackrabbit Trail.
Jack Lawliss, retired commander of State Police Troop B, began his career as a Trooper in Tupper Lake in 1955. He worked on several bank cases inside the Blue Line, all solved. The Willsboro case stood out in his memory because the same bank was the victim of an unrelated robbery a week earlier, and those thieves were apprehended in Reber, five miles away. The institution had operated without incident for a century before then.
After Lawliss retired, a 1992 robbery of a Key Bank in Au Sable Forks ended in the arrest of Robert Jones, who had also held up a bank in Plattsburgh with his wife as getaway driver and their two kids in the back seat. To reduce his wife’s sentence, Jones later confessed to the kidnapping and murder of Kari Lynn Nixon, a 16-year-old Au Sable Forks girl who had been missing for seven years.
Admittedly, an exhaustive search of Adirondack police blotters and newspaper archives dating back to the creation of the park in 1892 is a daunting project that we have not undertaken, so if you know of any successful in-park bank robberies please tell us.
Meanwhile, bank hits seem to be a nationwide trend, and there have been three unsolved hold-ups recently in Canton, north of the Blue Line.
The manhunt continues around Tupper Lake. Roadblocks, dogs and a helicopter Friday afternoon failed to net the gunman, who is reported to have fled on foot in the direction of Saranac Lake. “Solitary robbers usually target a bank that is close to their place of residence, making a car unnecessary,” wrote George Bryjak, retired professor of sociology at the University of San Diego, in a scholarly look at bank robber demographics in Wednesday’s Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
Police agencies have not said how much money was taken. Following is the State Police’s complete press release:
On April 10, 2009, at 12:15 p.m., the New York State Police responded to an armed bank robbery at the Community Bank, located on Hosley Avenue in the town of Tupper Lake. The preliminary investigation has established that a suspect entered the bank and displayed a handgun. The suspect fled the bank with an undetermined amount of cash.
Suspect is described as a white male, tall with a thin build, last seen wearing a tan hooded jacket and blue jeans. Subject may have tried to disguise himself with a moustache and or goatee and wearing sunglasses.
State Police Aviation, Canine, Uniform and BCI personnel, Tupper Lake Police Department, Saranac Lake Police Department and New York State Forest Rangers remain on scene and are continuing interviews of witnesses and searching the area for evidence.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New York State Police, Troop “B” Headquarters, Ray Brook at 518-897-2000.