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Mon., Aug. 31
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Four indicted by St. Lawrence County grand jury


CANTON — A Massena man was indicted Monday by a St. Lawrence County grand jury after he allegedly broke into a Massena home and threatened his ex-girlfriend with a weapon in late April.

Justin M. Mendies, 22, of 104 Stoughton Ave., was charged with one count of first-degree burglary and one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon stemming from the April 30 incident.

Mr. Mendies allegedly entered the apartment, at 153 E. Orvis St., and threatened the occupants with a collapsible baton, according to court documents.

He reportedly pushed his way into the apartment and grabbed Katie Snyder by the wrists so she could not get him back outside. He also allegedly threatened James Plourde with the baton before grabbing a bag and leaving the apartment.

Mr. Plourde and Ms. Snyder were in a back room at the apartment when they heard a knock on the door. Mr. Plourde said Ms. Snyder went to the door.

“Soon after I hear a lot of noise, and I hear Katie saying, ‘Justin, you can’t come in,’” Mr. Plourde said in the statement he signed for police.

He said he then went into the front room and saw Ms. Snyder grabbing both sides of the door casing in an effort to keep Mendies out of the apartment.

“Justin continued to grab around Katie and was forceful in trying to get in to the apartment. Katie continued to tell Justin to leave and that he didn’t have to be there,” Mr. Plourde told police.

He said as he approached Ms. Snyder he noticed Mendies had made his way inside the apartment.

“Justin then took a metal item out of his pocket and snapped it open. At this time Justin pointed the item at me and said, ‘Come on,’” he said.

r. Plourde said Mendies then walked into the kitchen, grabbed a bag from a kitchen cupboard and walked out of the apartment.

Ms. Snyder said she had only opened the door about 3 inches when Mendies pushed the door open.

“He grabbed my hands so I couldn’t shut the door. Justin then pushed me back into the apartment,” she noted.

She told police her ex-boyfriend made threats as he was leaving the apartment. She said he told her he was going to get her 1-year-old son taken away from her and that she wouldn’t be pregnant much longer.

Mr. Plourde said Mendies had warned him he would be looking for him and pledged to return to the apartment.

Others indicted by the grand jury:

Rusty T. Simmons, 24, of 938 Patterson St., Ogdensburg, for one count of fourth-degree grand larceny. Mr. Simmons is accused of stealing two desktop computers, worth more than $1,000, from Walmart in Potsdam on Sept. 30, 2010, documents said.

John L. Murdie Jr., 25, no address available, for two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Mr. Murdie allegedly sold oxycodone Dec. 12 and 13 in the village of Gouverneur.

Mark A. Reese, 39, of 901 Ford Ave., Ogdensburg, for three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Mr. Reese allegedly sold hydrocodone on March 28, 2011, and oxycodone on April 25 and 27, 2011, and possessed oxycodone March 9. He was stopped March 9 on Main Street in Ogdensburg and had a blood alcohol content of .23 percent, documents said.

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