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Two Massena men jailed for robbing acquaintance

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MASSENA - Two Massena man have been jailed following an apparent drug related robbery late Sunday night at a Maple Street apartment.

Village police charged Joseph J. (JJ) Belile, 28, of 59 Maple St., Apt. 1A, Massena, and James A. Berry, 21, of 48 East Hatfield St., Massena, with second-degree robbery and fifth-degree conspiracy following an incident that took place shortly before midnight at Belile’s apartment. Belile was additionally charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

The two men were arraigned Monday morning by Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson. Berry was sent to the county jail with bail set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. Belile, who has two prior felony convictions, was jailed with no bail set. Mr. Gustafson told Belile he was unable to set bail due to the two prior felony convictions.

The two men are charged with assaulting Christopher Delosh and then stealing items from him - one witness said the stolen items included some cash and a bag of heroin.

Massena Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said the case appeared to be drug related. “We believe it is,” he said.

Mr. Currier said police have seen a spike in drug related robberies over the past few years, but he noted few are reported to his department. “We have had a number of these type of cases that have not come to us officially but that we have learned about through other investigations,” he said.

A female in Belile’s apartment at the time the robbery took place told police a female acquaintance of Belile’s was also visiting the apartment as well. She alleged the second female had texted Delosh in an effort to purchase some suboxone strips. She said Belile insisted his female acquaintance invite Delosh to his residence after she learned she was trying to purchase drugs from him. She said Belile was seeking revenge for Mr. Delosh jumping his little brother, Christopher Belile.

The woman said a drug transaction took place when Delosh arrived at the residence, and she alleged Delosh eventually went into the bathroom to shoot up some heroin, according to court documents.

Berry, in his statement to police, said the altercation took place when Delosh came out of the bathroom. “Chris came out, and I saw Jay get up from the kitchen table and suck punch Chris in the side of the head. Chris fell onto my girlfriend and that made me mad, and I went after Chris. I don’t like Chris because has ripped me off before,” Berry noted in his statement.

He said he punched Delosh two or three times in the head before Belile rejoined the fray. “Jay kept going after him. Jay kicked in the head pretty hard. Chris was saying let me go, and Jay told him to empty his pockets. Chris said, ‘I ain’t got ——. I got my wallet and there is nothing in it,’” Berry noted in his statement.

He said Belile then took the wallet and then went and grabbed a hammer while Delosh was still hunched over on the floor. “He (Belile) held the hammer up and told Chris, “Hey ..., you have two seconds top get our of my house before I blast you with the hammer,” according to Berry’s statement.

Mr. Delosh, in a statement he signed for police, said the left side of his head “hurt really bad” and said his left leg was sore from where he had been hit with the hammer by Belile.

Belile was released from state prison on Dec. 21, where he had been serving a two to four year sentence for a third-degree rape conviction, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website.

He initially entered prison for that conviction in July 2008, and he had been returned to the state correctional facility on March 20, 2012 for a parole violation. The maximum expiration date of his parole supervision for the rape conviction is reportedly Feb. 7, 2013.

Belile had previously been sentenced to 42 months in state prison in July 2003 for a second-degree burglary.

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