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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena incident that led to eight arrests allegedly sparked by bad drug deal



MASSENA - Two Massena women were charged with felony criminal mischief counts Sunday stemming from an ongoing investigation into an incident Saturday evening at a residence on state Route 420 just outside the village of Massena that has led to eight arrests.

Massena-based state police charged Jamie L. Northrup, 36, of 587 South Main St., Massena, and Sandra J. Moerlins, 44, of Massena with third-degree criminal mischief after they allegedly broke a rear window near the rear entrance at 2224 state Route 420 at 7:38 p.m. Saturday.

Northrup and Moerlins both turned themselves in to troopers Sunday and were arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and released under the supervision of the probation department. Northrup was represented at her arraignment by attorney Effie Kyriakopolous. St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Robert Ballan represented Moerlins at her arraignment.

Shari L. Caza told police she was at her residence shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday when she heard some people knocking at her back door seeking to gain entrance to her house.

“They were upset because we didn’t come to the door,” she said, noting she recognized the two women - Moerlins and Northrup - but didn’t recognize the two younger men with them, later identified as Andrew and Lucas Northrup.

“When we didn’t answer the door, there was a crash and the sound of broken glass hitting the floor. We found a block of wood with a screw at the bottom of it, like it came off a piece of furniture. I suspect this was thrown through the window because it was not in my house prior to that,” she noted in her statement.

Caza was one of six people who had been charged with a drug count Saturday night in connection with the incident. State and village police had initially responded to a report that people with guns were attempting to break in to the residence.

Rachel E. Riley, who was jailed on three drug charges Saturday night, said she had been in her bedroom at 2224 Route 420, when she heard people trying to kick the door down.

“I had the door locked, and they wanted to come in and I told them no. They then threw the crowbar and wood paddle through the window. I ran back upstairs and called the cops. Once they (threw) the items into the house, they ran back to the car,” she said in her statement to police.

Andrew Northrup told troopers he and Moerlins had gone to 2224 Route 420 to purchase a “little bit of weed” for Moerlins from Derek Sessions.

“Derrick (sic) came out of the house and was suppose to trade the money for weed. Derrick took the $100 from me and went into the house. We then left and went to my house and Sandra dropped me off,” Mr. Northrup told police.

He said Moerlins called him back a short time later and told him they had to do something about Derrick Sessions ripping them off in the alleged drug deal.

“The plan was for me to talk to Derrick myself. We arrived at Derrick Sessions’s house, and I knocked on the back door. Jaime and Sandra came out back and were freaking out. Sandra had a crowbar in her hand and struck the back window. Sandra and Jaime started to throw things through the window and booting the door, yelling to Derrick and telling him to come outside,” Mr. Northrup told police, noting they were interrupted by the arrival of police units.

“I just wanted to have Derrick come out and have a man to man with me in regards to taking my money,” he said.

State police had charged Riley, 23, of Massena on Saturday with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of a hypodermic needle and unlawful possession of marijuana. She was also picked up on a warrant for failure to appear as directed on a petit larceny count pending in Massena Village Court. The warrant was signed on Oct. 28. She was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $1,500 cash.

Chad S. Wickwire, 29, of Norfolk; Eli G. Snyder, 58, of Massena; Shari K. Caza, 51, of Massena; Elizabeth K. Wickwire, 26, of Massena; and Derek Sessions, 23, of Norfolk were each charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance Saturday. Mr. Wickwire and Sessions were both arraigned by Judge Sharlow and sent to the county jail with bail set at $1,000 cash.

The trio were still in the county jail Monday morning.

Ms. Wickwire, Caza and Snyder had been released on appearance tickets Saturday night.

Troopers said heroin had been in plain view inside the residence when they were conducting their investigation into the alleged break in.

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