06/17/14 4:00pm
06/17/2014 4:00 PM
Riverhead Police Chief David Hergemiller (left) joined SCDA Thomas Spota at Tuesday's press conference to unveil a plan to combact drunken drivers. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller (left) joined SCDA Thomas Spota at Tuesday’s press conference to unveil a plan to combat drunken drivers. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

East End law enforcement agencies joined Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota Tuesday afternoon to unveil a plan to bolster sobriety checkpoints on land and at sea this summer.

The East End DWI Task Force will conduct additional checkpoints aimed at cracking down on drunken an drug impaired drivers and boaters, Mr. Spota announced during a press conference at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Hampton Bays.


11/28/13 7:51am
11/28/2013 7:51 AM

Riverhead Police

A Thanksgiving-eve East End DWI  Task Force operation led to four arrests in Riverhead Town, police said.

The expanded enforcement initiative was in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 4 a.m. Thursday and included officers from the Riverhead Town, Suffolk County and Westhampton Beach police departments.

The following four drivers were charged with DWI as a result of the operation:

Rogelio Romero, 45, of Riverhead

David Dougherty, 35, of Kings Park

Carlos Franco-Oliva, 23, of Flanders

Dawn Philips, 51, of Riverside

05/26/13 9:16am
05/26/2013 9:16 AM


Riverhead Police sent out a warning on Friday that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s “DWI task Force” would be setting up checkpoints in town over the Memorial Day weekend, but seven people were still arrested at those checkpoints Saturday night.

Arrested Saturday night at checkpoints in Riverhead Town were the following: Francisco Sabin, 36, of Sound Avenue in Riverhead, for DWI; Pedro Garcia, 30, of Front Street in Greenport, for DWI; Peter Helsinki, 18, of Middle Road in Cutchogue, for driving under the influence of drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana; Matthew Larson, 35, of Town Harbor Lane in Southold, for DWI; Shane Hands, 20, of Hillcrest Drive in Orient, for driving under the influence of drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana; James Hinch, 37, of Sweetbury Hill in Center Moriches, for DWI; and Alisa Raspanjini, 30, of Quaker Hill Path in Huntington, for driving while ability impaired.

Police say additional enforcement actions of this type can be expected in the future.

The Task Force was established by District Attorney Tom Spota last year and consists of officers from departments in the Riverhead Town, Southold Town, Shelter Island Town, Suffolk County, and New York State police departments.

02/02/13 8:00am
02/02/2013 8:00 AM

Police will be stepping up drunk driving patrols on the East End Super Bowl Sunday, but they’re not saying where.

Officers from the East End DWI Task Force will be out and about somewhere on the East End, mirroring the efforts of the Suffolk County PD, Suffolk’s Parks Police and the County Sheriff’s Office in the five western townships.

The East End DWI Task Force, which is headed by Riverhead Police Captain Richard Smith, will have the Sheriff’s Blood Alcohol Testing (BAT) mobile unit to help process alcohol and drug-related arrests, according to a release from the Suffolk County Stop DWI Program. The BAT unit will be part of patrols on major roads and highways.

The stepped-up patrols are funded through a grant from the governor’s traffic safety committee.

The release quotes a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which found that 40 percent of fatal crashes on Super Bowl Sunday involved drunk driving.

Riverhead Police Car

12/22/12 11:12am
12/22/2012 11:12 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The North Fork Liquor store as it appeared in September.

A 38-year-old Aquebogue man was arrested early Saturday for breaking into a Jamesport liquor store, stealing booze and then driving off, Riverhead Town police said.

Bradford Reeve of Main Road in Aquebogue is accused of breaking into North Fork Liquor on Main Road in Jamesport just after midnight by breaking a front window and making off with several bottles of liquor, police said.

He was arrested after an investigation and charged with burglary, two counts of possession of stolen property, and DWI, officials said in a press release.

Mr. Reeve was also listed as being one of 10 people arrested in a DWI check point set up by the East End DWI Task Force Friday night.

It was not immediately clear if he got snared in the check point net after fleeing the alleged burglary.

12/22/12 8:43am

Ten people were arrested Friday night on DWI and drug charges after they were stopped at check points set up by the East End DWI Task Force, according to a Riverhead town police press release. Below is a list of those police said arrested and the charges they face:

Criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic needle

William Francis, 24, of Mastic Beach

Criminal possession of a controlled substance, DWI

Madeline Perez, 20, of Selden

Shawn Barrington, 42, of Wading River

Criminal possession of a controlled substance

Joshua Drumgole, 17, of Farmingville

Cory Cornish, 22, of Riverhead


Jean Powell, 53, of Calverton

Doug Ryder, 45, of Riverhead

Janelle Hooghkirk, 23, of Baiting Hollow

Nyasia Fulford, 17, of Riverhead

Brad Reeve, 38, of Aquebogue

11/27/12 4:38pm
11/27/2012 4:38 PM

FILE PHOTO | Four people were arrested as part of an East End DWI Task Force operation in Riverhead over Thanksgiving weekend.

Four men were arrested during an East End DWI Task Force operation in Riverhead Friday night, authorities said.

The operation included a checkpoint on East Main Street as well as random patrols in the area conducted by the Riverhead, Suffolk County and Quogue police departments, said Riverhead police Lt. David Lessard.

The checkpoint ran from 8 p.m. on Friday night through 4 a.m. Saturday morning and netted four arrests, police said.

Rodney Shorter, 36, of Mattituck, was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

Jose Ortega, 34, of Mattituck and Robert Reddick Jr., 22, of Southampton were arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, police said.

Rodney Trappen, 35, of Aquebogue was also arrested in the police operation and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Lt. Lessard said the task force, which began this summer and encompasses police departments across the East End, will conduct an additional operation later this year.

He advised residents to drive safely during the holidays.


09/14/12 4:00pm
09/14/2012 4:00 PM

BETH YOUNG PHOTO |  Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota speaks at a press conference Friday at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Hampton Bays.

The Suffolk County East End DWI Task Force plans to expand its mission to cover Boating While Intoxicated crimes next summer, after a successful inaugural summer of DWI checkpoints on the East End.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced the effort at a press conference at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Hampton Bays Friday afternoon.

“We just the other day decided the time had come when we had to do this,” said Mr. Spota, who said he had just recently been involved in the indictment of a man who killed a father of two when he was in a waterway channel going the wrong way at an excessive rate of speed. “I will deputize all the officers so they can cross local boundaries.”

Mr. Spota said the Coast Guard will also play a major role in the effort.

“All agencies will participate, even those that don’t have a boat,” he said. “We have to be as aggressive as we are on the land.”

Mr. Spota said the D.A.’s office will use the proceeds from assets seized from criminals to fund overtime expenses for local departments, as well as state grant money and fees that Suffolk County receives from people who are convicted of DWI.

“The residents of the East End will not be paying a nickel for this effort,” he said.

Mr. Spota added that the DWI Task Force checkpoints, which began Memorial Day Weekend throughout the East End and have netted numerous arrests each weekend, will continue on designated weekends through the end of this year.

Mr. Spota said he had personally spent 11 years as a homicide prosecutor consoling families who couldn’t understand how a drunk driver had ruined their family’s life.

He also thanked representatives from the East End police departments who participated in the effort, many of whom were at the press conference.

“The very worst part of policing is bearing the burden of knocking on that door to bear that terrible news,” he said.

“They say success has many fathers but failure is an orphan,” he said. “We have a lot of proud fathers here. As district attorney, I’m deeply grateful for their enthusiasm and cooperation.”