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Month-long police operation targets street crime, nets 22 arrests

04/06/2016 3:06 PM |

Woolworth cops

Twenty-two people were arrested in a month-long police collaboration by the Riverhead, Southampton and New York State police departments that targeted street crimes and “quality of life” violations in and around Riverhead, according to a police press release. 

Police officers and detectives focused around the Flanders, Riverside and Main Street areas in Riverhead as part of the initiative, said state trooper Frank Bandiero, a public information officer. The three departments shared information about suspects and active cases during the operation, he added.

“We’ve done task forces before, but this one was unique to this area,” Mr. Bandiero said. “We had more patrols in the area, so extra personnel, both troopers and investigators. Mainly, it was saturating the area with extra personnel and seeing what we got.”

What they got were arrests, and “nothing to bat an eye at,” Mr. Bandiero said.

Among the arrests were drug possession offenses, criminal weapons possession and instances of drugged or drunk driving, according to the release.

Mr. Bandiero said he was unsure of whether the collaboration would continue, but said the results of the task force were promising.

Riverhead police chief David Hegermiller and Southampton Town police chief Robert Pearce weren’t immediately available for comment.

In addition to 16 people arrested on at least misdemeanor charges, six more were arrested and charged with violations.

For a list of those arrested as part of the operation, see below:

  • John Allen, age 73, of Riverhead, charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence, Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd, and Resisting Arrest.
  • Allan Alvarez, age 19, of Easthampton, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • Jermaine Briggs, age 37, of Riverhead, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Resisting Arrest, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • Willie Bryant, age 35, of Riverside, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree.
  • Jessica Chmielewski, age 28, of Riverside, charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs.
  • George Costello, age 45, of Hampton Bays, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree.
  • Heather Degroff, age 28 of Riverhead, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree.
  • Richard Jensen, age 38, of East Marion, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th and Hypodermic Instrument.
  • Lakiwa Kelly, age 29, of Shirley, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree and Aggravated Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd degree.
  • Michael Kennedy, age 25, of Riverhead, charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen property 4th degree, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • Terrence Lee, age 26, of Riverhead, charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Endangering Welfare of a Child, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • Kevin McDonald, age 34, of Bellport, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th & 7th degrees, Possession of a Forged Instrument 3rd degree, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • Timothy McKay, age 47, of Riverside, charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 3rd degree.
  • Rodney Spearman, age 48, of Calverton, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th Degree, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • Shauntel Todd, age 22, of Shirley, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.
  • John Topping, age 35, of Calverton, charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana 5th Degree.

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