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Fri., Sep. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena man charged with violating terms of probation


MASSENA - A 37-year-old Massena man was released under the supervision of the probation department after being picked up on a bench warrant Wednesday afternoon.

Village police executed the bench warrant for an alleged violation of his probationary sentence when Patrick M. O’Brien of 44 Beach St. appeared as directed in Massena Town Court.

Probation officials allege O’Brien failed to appear at the probation office as directed and failed to make monthly restitution payments after being sentenced to a three-year term on probation in February 2011 following his convictions for second-degree offering a false instrument for filing and petit larceny.

O’Brien had reportedly been ordered to make monthly restitution payments beginning in March 2011 but had yet to make any payments.

Probation officials also said O’Brien had been directed to make monthly visits to the probation department office but had not made an office visit since April 2. They said O’Brien had called the office on May 24 and Aug. 6 and left voice mail messages saying he was employed by a subcontractor doing building maintenance work at Alcoa.

Massena Town Justice James M. Crandall released O’Brien under the supervision of the probation department and directed him to return to court next month with an attorney. The court cautioned O’Brien the probation department was recommending he be sentenced to additional jail time if he was found guilty of the probation violation.

Mr. Crandall had ordered O’Brien to make restitution of $5,107.42 for his convictions for second-degree offering a false instrument for filing and petit larceny in a plea bargain agreement.

He had also fined O’Brien $500 and placed him under probation supervision for three years.

O’Brien had been charged with making false statements to the Department of Labor indicating he was not working when he was employed by Associated Reporters.

The plea also satisfied two second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument charges.

O’Brien was also be required to make restitution of $4,378 to the state’s Department of Labor and $265.11 to Ian Genser.

A state senior unemployment insurance investigator had alleged O’Brien stole $4,378 from the state’s Department of Labor by making false statements to the Department of Labor to qualify for full unemployment benefits between June 8, 2009 and Aug. 23, 2009.

The Massena man had also previously been charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. He was accused in that case of cashing two forged checks in January 2007.

O’Brien deposited two checks written out to Ian Genser from Midwest Airlines into his own account at Massena Savings and Loan - one on Jan. 8, 2007 and the other on Jan. 30, 2007.

In an unrelated case, O’Brien pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in Syracuse to a one count indictment charging him with theft of government monies.

In entering his plea, O’Brien admitted that between October 2006 and March 2007, while a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, he improperly received in excess of $12,000 for mileage reimbursement claims to which he was not entitled by falsely representing to the U.S. Coast Guard that he had conducted 75 shore patrols along the St. Lawrence River.

In other recent court action before Judge Crandall:

■ Toby J. Back, 27, of 494 River Road, Akwesasne, had an unlawful possession of marijuana violation dismissed. He had been charged with possession of two marijuana cigarettes located during a secondary inspection Sept. 4 at the U.S. port of entry in Rooseveltown.

The court ruled the paperwork submitted by the Customs and Border Protection agent did not meet standards that a supporting deposition must either be affirmed or sworn to before the court. The judge tossed the case after determining the supporting deposition was unsigned.

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