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St. Regis Falls man sentenced to probation after felony charges reduced to misdemeanors

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MASSENA - A 51-year-old St. Regis Falls man has been placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to two petit larceny counts in Massena Town Court.

Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow sentenced Shane F. Weller of 67 Main St. after he pleaded guilty to two counts of petit larceny in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied several outstanding felony charges. His sentence followed a commitment included in a plea bargain agreement worked out by Weller’s attorney, Alexander Lesyk, with the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office.

Weller had been indicted on felony counts by a St. Lawrence County grand jury, but the indictment was dismissed due to procedural issues with the grand jury indictment. The district attorney’s office then filed a prosecutor’s information on April 24 superceding the felony complaint.

Massena-based state police had charged Weller in July 2011 with two counts of second-degree forgery and three counts of petit larceny. Weller was charged with forging a check for $217.21 that had reportedly been stolen from Philip T. Horsley and used it to purchase merchandise from Walmart on June 15, 2011.He also allegedly cashed a second check for $70 from Horsley’s account on June 26 at Perry’s IGA.The third petit larceny count alleged Weller returned $492.47 of stolen Walmart merchandise on June 16.

Weller, in a statement he provided police, suggested he had found a box with pictures and other personal items when he was collecting items during the village of Massena’s spring cleanup days.

He said he found two checkbooks in the box and used one of the checks to purchase just under $500 worth of merchandise os stereo equipment in June at Walmart in Malone.

“I bought stereo equipment and stayed under $500 because I didn’t want any managers to come over to the register,” he said, noting he had fabricated his driver’s license number.

“The next day I went to the Massena Walmart and returned the stereo equipment for cash ($492.47). After returning the items, I used another Key Bank check and bought more stereo equipment,” he noted in his statement to police.

Mr. Horsley told troopers on May 14, 2011 that a number of items had been stolen from his storage unit on state Route 37 in the town of Louisville.

He had also been charged with stealing property from Yvonne Rice in the town of Potsdam.

The court directed Weller to make $3,500 restitution to Mr. Horsley and $1,500 restitition to Ms. Rice.

“My client denies taking that much property, but he is willing to pay the restitution,” Mr. Lesyk said.

In other recent court action before Judge Sharlow:

■ Celena A. Gilman, 33, of 452 County Route 46, Apt. 1, Massena, was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with stipulations she perform 30 hours of community service and make restitution of $105.30.

Prosecutors had reduced a felony charge against Gilman after she was charged with falsifying transactions when she was employed as an associate at the Sear’s store in the St. Lawrence Centre mall.

Massena-based state police had charged Gilmanwith a felony count of first-degree falsifying business records and petit larceny. Prosecutors made a motion reducing the felony charge to second-degree falsifying business records. She was also charged with petit larceny.

Troopers said Gilman had completed a return transaction on a pair of Levi jeans valued at $41.19. She reportedly removed the jeans from the sales floor because they were stained but then issued herself a gift card to herself for the cost of those Levis. She used that gift card to purchase merchandise later that same day.

She followed a similar procedure when she filled out an allegedly false return for $47.79 on Feb. 12.

Gilman also allegedly completed a sales transaction for $21.39 when she was working on Jan. 21. After the customer left, Gilman reportedly voided the transaction and kept the $21.39 for her own use.

Gilman, in a statement she signed for troopers, admitted she had made false transactions while she was working at the store.

“My financials are killing me, and I know stealing is wrong. My kids needed things I could not buy,” she pointed out in her statement.

■ Austin D. Cavender, 19, of 128 McNeil Road, Hogansburg, was fined $50 and a $125 surcharge for an unlawful possession of marijuana. He had been charged with being in possession of a marijuana cigarette on June 16 at the U.S. port of entry in Rooseveltown.

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