Fire

On 11/22/2022 around the time of 1729 hours, Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputies along with Interlaken, Ovid, and Lodi fire departments responded to the area of Lodi Covert Towline road and State route 96A for the report of a combine fire. Owner of the combine and land, John Swanson III, 73 safely exited the machine with no injuries. Responding units had to travel several hundred yards off the roadway to reach the combine and extinguish the fire. The damages are estimated to be 15,000 dollars. The cause of the fire appeared to have stemmed from the hydraulic housing.

Petit Larceny

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on November 21, 2022 at around 5:40 p.m., Deputies arrested 30 year old Stefanie M. Johns of Montezuma, NY on the charge of Petit Larceny when she turned herself in at the Law Enforcement Center in Romulus. The arrest stemmed from a Sheriff’s Office investigation into a theft that occurred on November 6, 2022 at a Town of Junius business. Two clothing items were allegedly stolen from the store by Johns at around 3:30 a.m. on the day of the incident. Johns was handed over to the Seneca County Correctional Facility for processing. Johns was then released on an appearance ticket. Johns will be expected to appear before the Junius Town Court in January to answer for the charges against her.

Burglary Arrest

Seneca County Sheriff W. Timothy Luce reports on November 17, 2022, at about 4:57am, the Seneca County E-911 Center received a call for a burglary in progress at a residence on Route 96 in the Town of Covert. Upon the arrival of Sheriff’s Deputies, the suspect had fled the scene on foot into a wooded area and was possibly armed. A perimeter was set up and a hyper-reach was sent out by the E-911 Center for residents to “shelter in place” within close proximity of the residence. While Sheriff’s Deputies searched the area, a second burglary was discovered at a neighboring residence. At that scene, the suspect had attempted to steal a motor vehicle on the property and had stolen a handgun. At about 7:59am, Sheriff’s Deputies placed the suspect in custody after he entered another residence in the immediate area. The stolen handgun was also recovered in close proximity to the scenes after it was detected by the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.

As a result of the investigation, Sheriff’s Investigators charged Leandre D. Lovett, age 29, no permanent address, Ithaca, New York, with the following:
• Burglary in the Second Degree (two counts)
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree
• Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree
• Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
• Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
• Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree
• Petit Larceny

Lovett was held at the Seneca County Correctional Facility and will be arraigned in the Seneca County Centralized Arraignment Court on November 17, 2022 at 7pm. Lovett is currently on New York State Parole supervision.

The New York State Police, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, Ithaca Police Department, and Trumansburg Police Department assisted in the investigation.

If any residents in the Town of Covert would like to report any suspicious activity or additional information in relation to this case, they are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (315) 220-3240.

Seneca County Sheriff’s Office October Snapshot

SENECA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

MONTHLY SNAPSHOT FOR OCTOBER 2022

LAW ENFORCEMENT:

Total Calls For Service: 1477

Total Arrests: 54  

D.H.S. Fraud Cases: 4; Yearly Total Cost Recouped:  $128,525.18

Mental Health Calls: 20

NARCO:

Total new drug cases: 6

Total arrests: 10

CORRECTIONS:

Average Number of Inmates: 28

Transports: 68     

CIVIL:

Total Summons/Complaints/Services: 25

Total Income Executions: 20

Total Evictions: 8

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH:

October 2nd, 2022: Pheasants raised by inmates at the jail were released into the wild. 50 pheasants were raised this year.

October 4th, 2022: Deputies responded to a dispute with a gun involved in Waterloo. A suspect was charged with menacing and the gun was safely recovered.

October 13th, 2022: Deputies responded to a fatal car accident on State Route 318, Town of Tyre. Investigators and accident reconstruction were deployed. The case is still open.

October 21st, 2022: Officers responded to a fight in Tyre. A suspect was charged with assault and resisting arrest.

October 24th, 2022: NARCO charged 2 suspects in Waterloo during a cocaine sale investigation. $11,000 cash and 30 grams of crack cocaine were seized.  

October 24th, 2022: Investigators charged a 33 year old suspect in Covert for allegedly disseminating indecent material to a 16 year old victim.

October 28th, 2022: NARCO recovered a 50 caliber assault weapon possessed in violation of an Order of Protection in Ovid.

Sheriff W. Timothy Luce, Undersheriff John Cleere

Menacing Arrest

Seneca County Sheriff W. Timothy Luce reports on November 14, 2022, at about 10:56am, Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the Village of Ovid for the report of a male that had been making threats of self-harm and possibly armed. Upon arrival of Sheriff’s Deputies, the male had fled the residence and was believed to be on foot in the Village of Ovid. Due to the male’s erratic behavior, threats, and close proximity to the school, Sheriff’s Deputies coordinated with officials from the South Seneca Central Schools and made a request to have the school placed in lockdown. Sheriff’s Deputies also alerted downtown businesses and conducted a search for the male. A short time later, the male was located behind a business and the male exited a wooded area and immediately threated to kill a Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol Sergeant while swinging a piece of lumber towards the officer. The male suspect then fled the scene on foot and ultimately ran into moving traffic on Route 96 in the Town of Ovid. The male was taken into custody after the brief foot pursuit. The male was identified as Hernes Valencia-Arboleda, age 25, of 7188 Main Street, Ovid New York. He was charged with Menacing in the Second Degree and was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Ovid Town Court at a later date.
The New York State Park Police and New York State Police also assisted at the scene.

DWI

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that on November 10, 2022 at around 8:56 p.m., Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a White 2007 Jeep Cherokee in the Town of Ovid for not having any functioning tail lamps. A roadside investigation conducted by Deputies determined that the operator of the vehicle, 29 year old Carla Morton of Ovid, was intoxicated. Morton was transported to the Law Enforcement Center in Romulus where she was processed by the Seneca County Jail and released on an Appearance Ticket. The charges against Morton consist of Driving While Intoxicated, Operating a Motor Vehicle while having a B.A.C. greater than 0.08%, and operating a vehicle with insufficient tail lamps. Morton will be expected to appear before the Ovid Town Court at a later date to answer for the charges.

Domestic

The Seneca County Sheriff’s office reports that on November 9th, 2022 at 5:45 PM, Seneca County Deputies arrested Keith L. Champion, Age 59, of 8913 State Route 414 Lodi, NY at his residence. Champion was charged with Driving while intoxicated, Reckless Endangerment 2nd, and Resisting Arrest all misdemeanors as well as Harassment 2nd a violation.

Deputies report that the arrest stems from a domestic incident where it is alleged that Champion struck the victim before leaving the residence. Champion then returned to the residence while Deputies were actively investigating the incident. Champion then fled from Deputies and attempted hit a deputies vehicle with his own. After coming to a stop Champion then actively resisted deputies from taking him into custody. Champion was held for arraignment at CAP Court to reappear in the Town of Lodi at a later date.


DWI-Drugs

The Seneca County Sheriff’s office reports that on November 8th, 2022, at 08:28 PM, Seneca County Deputies arrested Michael A Delario , Age 37, of 281 Main Street Freeville, NY , on State Route 96 in the Town of Fayette. Delario was charged with Driving while intoxicated by Drugs a misdemeanor, as well as moving from lane unsafely, and crossing a road hazard marking both traffic violations.

Deputies report that the arrest stems from a one car property damage accident where Delario’s vehicle exited the road way and struck a ditch causing damage to the vehicle. Delario was released on appearance tickets and is to appear before the Town of Fayette Court on January 10th 2023 to answer the charges.


Unlawfully Dealing with a Minor

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports that Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Damion W. Brown 23 of Romulus NY on November 5th for Unlawfully Dealing with a Minor in the First Degree a class A Misdemeanor. The arrest stems from a report that on the 31st of October 2022 around 6:20pm, Brown had sold alcohol to a 14 year old minor while working as cashier for a local gas station. Brown was arrested and released on appearance tickets. Brown is to appear at the Covert Town Court on November 17th 2022 at 10:00am to answer the charge.

Welfare Fraud Arrests

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office reports Investigators arrested six people in relation to welfare fraud charges on November 2, 2022. The arrests stemmed from joint investigations between Sheriff’s Investigators and the Seneca County Division of Human Services.

Arrested were the following:

Katherine A. McConaughy, age 65, of 2345 Lower Lake Road, Seneca Falls, New York, was charged with Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Misuse of Food Stamps. It is alleged that McConaughy failed to disclose household income while receiving monetary benefits from Seneca County. McConaughy was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in the Waterloo Village Court on November 16, 2022, at 6pm.

Cherie E. Smith, age 33, of 510 Route 318, Phelps, New York, was charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Misuse of Food Stamps. It is alleged that Smith failed to disclose household income while receiving monetary benefits from Seneca County. Smith was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in the Waterloo Village Court on November 16, 2022, at 6pm.

Robin S. Pearson, age 54, of 41 Church Street, Apartment A5, Waterloo, New York, was charged with three counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Pearson filed false information when attempting to gain monetary benefits from Seneca County. Pearson was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in the Waterloo Village Court on November 16, 2022, at 6pm.

Bethany A. Arnold, age 33, of 941 Waterloo/Geneva Road, Lot 55, Waterloo, New York, was charged with Misuse of Food Stamps and Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree. It is alleged that Arnold failed to disclose household income while receiving monetary benefits from Seneca County. Arnold was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in the Waterloo Village Court on November 16, 2022, at 6pm.

Sarah R. McClanahan, age 34, of 206 East Williams Street, Waterloo, New York, was charged with Misuse of Food Stamps and Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree. It is alleged that McClanahan failed to disclose household income while receiving monetary benefits from Seneca County. McClanahan was released on an appearance ticket and is to appear in the Waterloo Village Court on November 16, 2022, at 6pm.

Colter J. Morrison, age 36, of 411 West Miller Street, Newark, New York, was arrested on a Bench Warrant for failing to appear in the Waterloo Village Court on charges of Welfare Fraud in the Fifth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. Morrison was taken into custody by the Newark Police Department and turned over to the Sheriff’s Office. Morrison was held in the Seneca County Correctional Facility and arraigned in the Seneca County Centralized Arraignment Court. Morrison is to reappear in the Waterloo Village Court at a later date.