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Police plan to increase presence in Massena’s high crime neighborhoods

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MASSENA — A series of violent felony offenses over the past year, capped by two gun-related incidents over the past two weeks, have local police agencies working together to increase their presence in Massena neighborhoods plagued by drug dealing and other crimes.

Village Police Chief Timmy J. Currier said he met Friday with St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells and state police station commander Dana R. Paduano to develop a plan to boost patrols in the community.

“I think people should be concerned. This incident demonstrates further escalation in the ongoing crime problem with this group of people,” Mr. Currier said. “I met today with Sheriff Wells and the state police station commander to ask for their assistance in patrolling in some of our neighborhoods where we are seeing an increase in criminal activity. People will see a visible increase in police presence in those neighborhoods.”

He said law enforcement officials are still working out the details of their plan. He said his department will be changing its schedule to increase staffing. Mr. Currier said recent events in the community — ranging from home invasions and shootings to attempted kidnappings and heroin busts — have to be addressed immediately.

“We are absolutely at the point where if we can’t impact these issues in an effective way it could be a tipping point for our community. We know where the vast majority of these people are living or hanging out. These are the areas we plan to concentrate on, but we will be flexible enough to address any new issues that come up,” the police chief said.

Sheriff Wells said his department will assist village police in any way it can to help them address the criminal element in the community.

“We go where we can help around the county, and we also have a strong relationship with the state police as well,” he said. “We’ve been doing that in Massena, and we’ve been more focused recently with task force assistance. I told the chief we would be willing to provide whatever he needs in terms of patrols. What we can do to help, we will.”

The meeting of the law enforcement officials took place one day after police had been called at 3:29 p.m. Thursday to 27 Spruce St. for a reported home invasion at the Albert Brossoit and Felicity Caskinette residence.

Village police charged Patrick R. Lloyd, 25, of 16 Haskell St., with a misdemeanor count of second-degree menacing in connection with that incident. He was arraigned on that charge by acting Village Justice James M. Crandall and sent to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, with bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Mr. Currier said police are still searching for a second man, identified by witnesses by his street name of Q, who reportedly was brandishing a handgun when he first went to the Spruce Street address Thursday afternoon.

Witnesses told police Mr. Lloyd drove a second man to Spruce Street about 3 p.m., following Ms. Caskinette when she drove onto the property.

A witness said the passenger in Mr. Lloyd’s vehicle, known only by his street name, returned about a half hour later with a woman and walked inside the residence without permission.

The investigation into the home invasion led to the arrest Thursday afternoon and evening of three other people who were not directly linked to the incident on Spruce Street.

While patrolling on Maple Street, village patrolmen and state troopers saw two men walking in the vicinity of a vehicle that had been linked to the home invasion when one of the men took off running. Both men then were taken into custody.

Jose A. Castro-Luzunaris, 25, of 59 Maple St., was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after he was found to have concealed in the waistband of his pants a loaded Inter Arms semiautomatic 9mm handgun for which he had no permit, police said.

Village police charged the man who had run from them, Janek P. Podeswik, 33, of 1624 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Police said he was found with a baggie containing seven bundles of heroin.

Mr. Currier said police do not believe Mr. Podeswik and Mr. Castro-Luzunaris were connected with the incident allegedly involving Mr. Lloyd and his as yet unnamed codefendant.

“It appears at this point as if these two cases were unrelated. It is a concern that we have two people that appear to be completely unrelated to the other incident and one person is in possession of a firearm and the other person is in possession of a substantial amount of heroin. It speaks to the scope of the problem we have in our community,” he said.

Mr. Currier said Mr. Lloyd was taken into custody at 40 Willow St. about four hours after the Spruce Street incident.

Mr. Lloyd walked out of the residence and was taken into custody. Kimberly A. Jandrew, 26, of 40 Willow St., Apt. 1, where Mr. Lloyd was found, allegedly consented to allow police to search her residence for a weapon. They apparently didn’t find a weapon but discovered drug paraphernalia inside the home. She also reportedly admitted she had concealed a baggie containing cocaine and prescription pills in a body cavity. The drugs were recovered, and Ms. Jandrew was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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