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Two St. Lawrence County residents jailed following bad check investigation

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MALONE - Two St. Lawrence County men are in the Franklin County Jail on multiple felony charges stemming from allegations that they cashed bad checks at area businesses to purchase tools.

Mark J. Buffham, 39, of Canton is charged with 10 felony counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and one felony count of first-degree scheme to defraud and one misdemeanor petit larceny charge. He is being held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

Gerald L. Dissottle, 41, of Norfolk is charged with a felony count of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. His bail was set at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond.

According to state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Investigator Don Martin, Buffham used a closed North Country Savings Bank account to cash three checks at Ward Lumber in Malone and one check at Alix’s True Value in Chateaugay.

Malone Village Police Sgt. James Russell said Buffham cashed six checks at Sears on U.S. Route 11 Thursday and at Mid-State Supply on East Main Street in April.

Russell said Dissottle is alleged to have possessed tools Buffham purchased from one of the stores.

“The case is still under investigation, and there may be additional charges pending,” Russell said.

Massena Village Police arrested and charged Buffham with fourth-degree grand larceny: auto on April 25. Police said he went to Frenchie’s Ford on East Orvis Street, Massena, to test drive a used Chevrolet pickup truck and was allowed to drive it home, with the understanding he would return it the next day.

He did not return the vehicle, and it was discovered he wrote a bad check to cover the deposit in the amount of $2,000, police said.

Buffham, a registered sex offender, and Dissottle both have spent two terms in state prison.

Buffham served just under three years in prison for third-degree sodomy and second-degree forgery convictions, according to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS) website. The New York State Sex Offender Registry says the sodomy charge was for sexual contact, sexual intercourse, and deviate sexual intercourse with a then-13-year-old female and a then-15-year-old female in St. Lawrence County.

The NYSDOCCS site says he was released on parole from Adirondack Correctional Facility on July 19, 2002. It says he went back and served six years for a third offense in 10 years of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and was released from Bare Hill Correctional Facility on Aug. 15.

Dissottle served just over two years for third-degree burglary and second-degree assault convictions, according to the NYSDOCCS site. It says he was released on parole from Adirondack Correctional Facility on April 26, 1994.

The NYSDOCCS site says he returned in 1996 for second-degree burglary and a second conviction in 10 years of driving while intoxicated.

NYSDOCCS spokesman Peter Cutler said he was released on parole from Gowanda Correctional Facility in August 1997, which he violated and returned on July 17, 1998. Cutler said Dissottle was paroled again on April 20, 1999 from Bare Hill Correctional Facility, which he violated and returned to state prison on Jan. 19, 2001. Cutler said Dissottle was then released on parole again on Aug. 27, 2007, which he violated and was returned to prison on June 22, 2010. Cutler said Dissottle was paroled most recently on March 11, 2011. His community supervision ended on Feb. 19.

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