A Jamesport man accused of stealing $20 worth of lemon-flavored vodka during a Mattituck bar burglary nine years ago was arrested Sunday after police linked his DNA to the crime, according to law enforcement officials.
Fabian Cojon, 37, broke into Four Doors Down through a window on May 20, 2007 and left blood at the scene most likely caused by broken glass, according to Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley.
Prosecutor Sean Buckley said at an arraignment Monday that Mr. Cojon was linked to the crime after police obtained a sample of his blood in May.
While defense attorney Emily Miller of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County argued that a five-year statute of limitations had already passed in connection with the crime her client was charged with, Mr. Buckley said that since Mr. Cojon’s whereabouts were unknown, the recent DNA evidence linking him to the crime increases the statute of limitations an additional five years.
“All we had was his blood,” Mr. Buckley explained. “You can’t look for something when you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
Prosecutors did not elaborate on the circumstances in which Mr. Cojon’s blood was taken in May, though a previous news story indicates he was arrested late last year on a felony reckless endangerment charge after he allegedly threw a four-foot-long wooden post at a passing vehicle on Route 48 in Mattituck. Additional details of that previous arrest were not immediately available.
Mr. Buckley said during Monday’s arraignment that Mr. Cojon had “been deported in the past,” a claim Ms. Miller refuted. She said her client has lived in the area for the past 17 years, including the last six at a house in Peconic.
Investigators with the Southold Town Police Department said Mr. Cojon, a Guatemalan national, had been deported in 2001. Police also maintained that he lives in an apartment on Main Road in Jamesport, despite what his attorney claimed.
Ms. Miller declined to comment following the arraignment in Southold Town Justice Court Monday.
Through a translator, Mr. Cojon pleaded not guilty before Judge Brian Hughes. He remains in jail after failing to post $10,000 cash bail.
A criminal complaint filed Sunday in Southold Town Justice Court said the May 2007 break-in occurred at about 3 a.m. when two bottles of alcohol were removed from the premises. A June 2016 statement from the bar owner estimated the value of the stolen property at $20. Chief Flatley described the alcohol as lemon-flavored vodka.
Mr. Cojon is due back in court Friday.
Photo: Fabian Cojon. (Credit: Southold Town Police Department)