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Nicholville man placed on probation for altering vehicle registration

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MASSENA - A 27-year-old Nicholville man has been placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay court fees and surcharges after admitting he altered a registration on a vehicle he was driving on New Year’s Eve.

Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow placed Mikle N. Lavare, of 13 1/2 Bridge St., Nicholville, on probation for three years and ordered him to pay a $205 surcharge and $50 to submit a sample of his DNA to the state database for a tampering with public records and criminal possession of a forged instrument convictions.

The plea bargain agreement also covered a grand larceny count related to the theft of his parent’s tractor as well as numerous vehicle and traffic law violations.

Lavare was initially charged with four felonies following a traffic stop Dec. 31 in the village of Massena. He was charged with two counts of first-degree tampering with public records and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Prosecutors later made a motion to reduce the felonies to misdemeanors, and the case was returned to local court.

Lavare admitted he removed the inspection and registration stickers from a 2000 Dodge Ram pickup on Dec. 31, modified the vehicle identification number, year and make of the vehicle, and placed the altered stickers on a 2005 Nissan Titan pickup to hide the fact the truck was neither inspected or registered.

He had also been ticketed for operation of an uninspected motor vehicle and unregistered motor vehicle, improper plates, operating without insurance and displaying a forged certificate of inspection following that Dec. 31 traffic stop. Those tickets were satisfied by the plea bargain agreement.

The plea also covered charges alleging Lavare sold his stepfather’s Kubota tractor to a Vermont man while his parents were in Florida. Massena-based state police had charged Lavare with a felony charge of third-degree grand larceny and a misdemeanor count of making a false written statement. That felony had also been reduced to a misdemeanor and returned to local court.

He allegedly signed a statement for troopers on Dec. 26 suggesting his stepfather’s Kubota tractor had been stolen from 426 Water St. in the town of Lawrence.

Troopers said Lavare later admitted he had sold the tractor owned by Tommy Votra to a Vermont man for $3,500 on Dec. 5. Lavare, in a second statement provided to state police investigators, admitted he had stolen his stepfather’s tractor. He did not have permission to sell the tractor.

In other recent court action before Judge Sharlow:

• Jean C. Yasseer, 47, of 701 1035 Carroll Court, Norcross, Ga., was fined $250 and a $125 surcharge after a fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon count was reduced to a disorderly conduct violation.

Village police had charged Yasseer with a felony count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon Jan. 9 as part of a joint investigation with federal authorities.

The Georgia man told Canadian Customs authorities he had left his weapon at his hotel room when he was seeking entrance to Canada. The Georgia man is not permitted to have a pistol in New York state and at the time was also prohibited from carrying a weapon as the result of a charge stemming from a domestic incident in August 2013.

Village police said they located a loaded .22 Magnum calibre AMT Automag II pistol in his hotel room at the Quality Inn. Police said the weapon was loaded with nine rounds of ammunition and an additional 70-plus rounds were with the weapon.

Yasseer, in a statement he provided police, said he was traveling from Georgia to visit his brother in Massena.

“When I was driving, I realized I had my pistol with me and didn’t know if I could bring it into Canada. I checked the website, and it was clearly marked I could not. I got a room at the Quality Inn in Massena. I stayed there overnight and decided to pay for the room for a couple extra nights, and I would leave the pistol in the room until I got back,” he told police.

Yasseer said he left the pistol, a gift he said he had received from his ex-wife in 1991, in the bottom drawer of the dresser in his hotel room.

“The magazine was full but nothing was in the chamber. It also had two boxes of ammunition with it. It was in a holster,” he said. “At no time was I aware I could not possess the pistol in New York state. I legally own this in Georgia, and I am not required to have a permit in Georgia,” he noted.

A statement from a Canadian Border Services Agency intelligence officer assigned to the Border Security Task Force, said Yasseer had told him about the gun he had left in the hotel room when he was questioned about his reason for seeking entry to Canada.

He said Yasseer told him the pistol was registered in Ohio and that he was a recreational shooter. Yasseer, in his statement to police, said he had been denied entrance to Canada after he responded affirmatively when asked if he had ever been arrested.

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