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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena man’s guilty plea could result in year in county jail


MASSENA - MASSENA - A Massena man described as potentially a one man crime spree in the village could be sentenced to a year in the county correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to a petit larceny count in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied a host of other charges.

Joseph A. Rousaw, 38, of 35 Highland Ave., Massena, pleaded guilty to one count of petit larceny. He admitted he had filled his vehicle up with $92 worth of gasoline at the Mountain Mart Mobil station before driving off without paying for the fuel.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 27.

Prosecutors have said they will ask for Rousaw to be sentenced to one year in the county jail as a result of the guilty plea, but the plea bargain agreement did not include a stipulated sentencing commitment.

The plea bargain agreement covered two other gas drive offs, an unrelated petit larceny count, a drug-related charge and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.The aggravated unlicensed operation stemmed from a late March traffic stop related to an investigation into three gas driveoffs over a two-week period. He allegedly stole $92 worth of gasoline from Mountain Mart, $50.08 from Stewart’s and another $10 from Stewart’s at a different time.

Rousaw, in a statement provided to police, admitted he had driven off without paying for gas on three occasions.

“Times are tough, and I use my truck for work and needed to put gas in it so I can work,” he said in his statement.

He was charged with petit larceny on June 30 when he and a male co-defendant walked out of the Price Chopper without paying for $191 worth of groceries in his cart, including two cases of Bud Light beer, a 12-pack of Twisted Teas and 10 packages of beef.

The previous day he had been charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic needle when they found a needle in his pant’s pocket during another petit larceny investigation.

“If these allegations are true,” Mr. Gustafson said at Rousaw’s initial arraignment, “it appears Mr. Rousaw is on the process of creating a one-man crime spree in the village.”

He was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail continued at $1,000.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Carmon L. Kingsley, 39, of 56 Parker Ave., Apt. 3, Massena, pleaded guilty to attempted petit larceny in a plea bargain agreement that satisfied two petit larceny counts.

Mr. Gustafson directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 3.

Kingsley had been charged in July with stealing $50 on one occasion and $20 on a second occasion from a cash register while employed as an associate at Walmart. Kingsley then reported used the stolen money to purchase food from the Walmart store.

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