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News stories tagged with "crime"

Report ties organized crime, drugs to Akwesasne tobacco trafficking

A new report details the billion dollar trafficking of untaxed cigarettes into Canada from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. The investigation by the Center for Public Integrity documented 5 to 10 unlicensed tobacco factories in Akwesasne and on the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal.

Smugglers carry cigarettes across the Canadian border and sell them in Ontario and Quebec for $20 a carton. A legally taxed carton costs $80 to $90. The Canadian government estimates it is losing $1.6 billion a year in taxes while health care costs associated with smoking are rising. William Marsden of the Montreal Gazette reported the story. He told David Sommerstein the tobacco smuggling has attracted more organized crime and drugs to an already porous region of the U.S.-Canada border.  Go to full article

Binghamton bears up after shooting tragedy

Funerals for those killed in Friday's mass shooting have already begun in Binghamton. At an area mosque, an imam chanted over the bodies of two women killed in Friday's massacre. Mustafa al-Salihi is the son of one of the women. He says his family moved to the U-S from Iraq to escape violence. He adds that he'll especially miss his mother later this spring, when he graduates. People from eight countries have been identified as the victims of the deadly rampage at the city's immigrant community center. It remains unclear exactly why a Vietnamese immigrant strapped on a bulletproof vest, barged in on a citizenship class and killed the victims and himself. Brian Mann has been on assignment for NPR in Binghamton since the shooting Friday. Martha Foley spoke with him this morning.  Go to full article

Senate passes drug law changes

The State Senate approved sweeping changes to the Rockfeller drug laws last night as a part of the state budget. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

NYC gangs migrating North

Gang activity, including illegal drug trade, is up sharply in Glens Falls. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article
Former Rep. John Sweeney campaigns in 2006
Former Rep. John Sweeney campaigns in 2006

Breaking: FBI subpoenas ORDA over Rep. Sweeney trips to Lake Placid

The FBI has subpoenaed information from Lake Placid's Olympic Regional Development Authority as part of an investigation that apparently targets former Congressman John Sweeney. The Albany Times-Union is reporting that Federal agents are probing Sweeney's taxpayer-funded trips that ended in 2006 when he lost a bid for re-election. Martha Foley has details.  Go to full article

North Country gun thefts spike sharply in 2008

State police say the number of guns stolen across the North Country grew dramatically last year. 116 firearms were stolen, with most of the thefts coming in Clinton and Franklin Counties. That was up from just seventy-five in 2007. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Michael Odumosu. Photo: Frank Pastizzo.
Michael Odumosu. Photo: Frank Pastizzo.

DA says rape investigation will include other NCCC students

Yesterday, we reported on a North Country Community College student jailed in Essex County after being charged with rape. Michael Odumosu has been held without bail because he's a foreign student and his visa has been suspended. Franklin County District Attorney Dereck Champagne now says a grand jury will likely hear the charges against Odumosu "within the next two or three weeks." He also says more student-athletes at the school are being investigated. Meanwhile, college officials say they're handling of the case was appropriate. Brian Mann has this update.  Go to full article
Michael Odumosu. Photo:  Frank Pastizzo
Michael Odumosu. Photo: Frank Pastizzo

Foreign college student jailed for weeks in Adirondacks, raising questions

A former student from North Country Community College in Saranac Lake remains behind bars this week, following his arrest in mid-December. Michael Odumosu traveled to the North Country from London, England, to play for the school's basketball team. He is accused of raping a young woman in a student apartment just off campus. The charges have also triggered an inquiry by Federal Immigration officials. As Brian Mann reports, Odumosu's supporters are raising questions about the way his case was handled, both by the school and by police.

Correction: North Country Community College officials did make an effort to reach NCPR before this story aired. Tomorrow during regional news, we'll hear from Ed Trathen, Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services.  Go to full article

State police confirm murder-suicide in Ausable Forks

State police are releasing more details about an apparent murder-suicide in Ausable Forks this week. Otis Collins Jr., age 56, and 57-year-old Frederica Collins were found dead with gunshot wounds on Monday morning. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Former Plattsburgh Assemblyman Chris Ortloff
Former Plattsburgh Assemblyman Chris Ortloff

Former Assemblyman Chris Ortloff pleads guilty to child sex charges

A man who was once a giant in North Country politics pleaded guilty on Wednesday in federal court following a child-sex scandal that shocked the region. Former state Assemblyman Chris Ortloff pleaded guilty to a single count of online enticement of minors. The 61-year-old divided his time between Plattsburgh and Lake Placid after leaving the legislature in 2006. He was arrested in October 2008 following a sex-crime sting and subsequently resigned his appointed position with the state Parole Board.

State police say that Ortloff negotiated with a undercover officer whom he believed to be the mother of two girls, ages 11 and 12. Ortloff was arrested in an Colonie hotel room, after arranging to meet the children for a sexual liaison. According to a report in the Albany Times Union, Ortloff's plea could help him win a reduced sentence. Ortloff now faces between ten years and life in a state prison.

Details of the crime sent shock waves through the community and through the Republican Party. Ortloff represented the North Country's 110th Assembly District from 1986 until 2006. When Ortloff was arrested, he was equipped with sexual aids, including condoms and vibrators. He has been housed in a jail in Washington County. His sentencing appearance is scheduled for April 23. According to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Ortloff has been released into home confinement until his sentencing.  Go to full article

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