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Village police make two arrests related to Bishop Avenue incident

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MASSENA - Village police have charged two residents of a Bishop Avenue apartment where one man was shot and another stabbed Monday night with drug charges.

Massena Village Police charged Gerald L. Dissottle Jr., 21, and Megan N. Laflesh, 19, both formerly living a 15 Bishop Ave., Massena, with a B felony of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after they were taken into custody at 9:19 a.m. Saturday at an apartment on Route 56 in the town of Louisville.

Village police said they seized 1,640 “bundles” of heroin - nearly four ounces - in the bedroom closet of the defendants when they conducted a search related to the shooting and stabbing Monday evening. The street value of the drugs is over $30,000, Mr. Currier said in a statement.

Dissottle and Laflesh are being held in police custody awaiting arraignment later this morning.

“Other evidence in connection to the assault was located and collected as well,” Mr. Currier said in a statement.

“There is obviously a great deal of information I am unwilling to disclose about this incident, but given the details of these arrest today, I believe people can better understand what was going down at that residence and why.”

It is no secret that the increased crime in Massena is driven by the illegal drug trade, from marijuana to opiates to heroin, Mr. Currier said.

“The amount of heroin found at this residence underscores the drug problem we face here in Massena and in this region,” Mr. Currier said.

Police received a complaint at 6:59 p.m. Monday that someone had seen two men assault another man between 15 and 17 Bishop Ave. Police discovered there were also two other victims at 15 Bishop - one man who had been shot in the upper chest from close range and a second man who had been stabbed in the buttocks.

Mr. Currier said two males left the triplex apartment at 15 Bishop Ave. shortly before 7 p.m. to go pick up dinner, leaving two men inside the residence. While those two men were gone, two other men reportedly went into the apartment, tied up the two men they found inside the apartment with electrical zip ties and then stabbed one man in the buttocks and shot the other man in the chest.

The village police chief said the stabbing victim, who was treated and released from Massena Memorial Hospital Monday night, also had defensive wounds. The shooting victim remained hospitalized Tuesday.

He said as the two attackers were leaving the residence they encountered the two men returning to the apartment with a pizza. One of those men suffered blunt force trauma to the head when he was attacked by the two men leaving the apartment. That victim was also treated and released from Massena Memorial Monday night.

Mr. Currier said he believes the two men that were injured at 15 Bishop live there, at least on an intermittent basis. “I can’t definitely say yes, but I believe so. Two females’ names are on the lease, but we think they made an agreement with other people to live there,” according to the police chief.

He stressed the incident was not a random act of violence but declined to comment on a motive Tuesday. “The victims have not been forthcoming with the information we need to positively ID the suspects at this point,” Mr. Currier said.

The victims and attackers are believed to be part of a transient population that have addresses both inside and outside the north country. Mr. Currier said he believed several of the individuals involved in the incident move in and out of Massena on a regular basis and have contacts they stay with in Massena when they are in the north country.

Sources in the Bishop Street area said the two women, appearing to be in their late teens or early 20s, had moved into the apartment within the past several weeks, and they noted there has been considerable traffic in the area since that time. They also said at least one male appeared to live in the apartment as well.

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