02/17/14 10:31am
02/17/2014 10:31 AM

A 42-year-old Riverhead man was arrested for drunken driving after he was stopped for a traffic violation in Riverhead Wednesday, state police said.

Oleg Prjalkins was pulled over while driving east on Route 58, according to a police statement. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and released with a ticket for a future court date, police said.

psquire@timesreview.com

barracks

10/02/13 8:00am
10/02/2013 8:00 AM
TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | The state police barracks in Riverside.

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | The state police barracks in Riverside.

Three people were charged after selling alcohol beverages to an undercover state police agent Monday night, state police said.

And the busts include one man who has had repeated run-ins with state and federal authorities.

Ravinder Parkash

Ravinder Parkash

Clerks Kenneth Powell, 16, of Flanders Deli, and Ingrad Moraga, 28, of Garden Deli, both on Flanders Road; as well as Ravinder Parkash, 60, of Shivani Gulf Gas and Food Mart on East Main Street in Riverhead, were each charged with one count of unlawful dealing with a child and one count of prohibited sale of an alcoholic beverage, according to a report.

Mr. Parkash and his wife were also arrested in June for running an alleged food stamp scheme out of the same East Main Street gas station market he has owned with his wife, according to reports.

He was also arrested in April 2012 for selling alcohol to a minor, police said.

The charges were in connection with an Underage Drinker Enforcement Detail completed in Riverhead and Southampton towns, police said.

06/27/13 1:00pm
ATTORNEY GENERAL COURTESY | Screen grab from video supplied by the attorney genera's office.

ATTORNEY GENERAL COURTESY | Screen grab from video supplied by the attorney general’s office.

The owners of a Gulf gas station in downtown Riverhead were arrested Thursday morning for allegedly orchestrating a scheme to steal more than $670,000 from a government food and nutrition program, the New York State attorney general announced.

Ravinder Parkash

Ravinder Parkash

Almost two dozen other Suffolk County residents, including 17 from Riverhead Town, were also arrested as part of a 60-count grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday after an 18-month investigation, said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Police raided the East Main Street gas station Thursday morning, arresting owner Ravinder Parkash, 59, for felony grand larceny and money laundering, state officials said.

Mr. Parkash was held on $500,000 cash bail at an arraignment Thursday afternoon at Suffolk County criminal court — state prosecutors used the court space, even though the defendants are not being charged by county authorities — and is due back in court July 9.

“He does not have substantial ties to the community other than the convenience store he operates, which is where he engaged in this criminal conspiracy,” assistant attorney general Tyler Reynolds told acting state Supreme Court Judge James Hudson in court.

The alleged scheme involved illegally trading cash for hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, the attorney general said.

“The conduct alleged in this case became even more heinous when we found the defendants stole emergency benefits for victims of Hurricane Sandy and used it for their own selfish purposes,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a release.

Police also arrested Mr. Parkash’s wife, Prabha Rani, 58, and  two dozen other recipients on theft charges.

Ms. Rani was held on $250,000 cash bail after her arraignment and is also due back in court July 9.

Mr. Parkash and his wife processed “phantom” SNAP transactions in cooperation with the cardholders without selling them any food from April 2010 to June 2013, the attorney general said. The owners allegedly gave the cardholders cash equalling up to half of the amount of the fake purchase and kept the remainder of the money for themselves, officials said.

Following Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture allocated an additional 50 percent in benefits to all SNAP recipients in affected areas without regard to need. The recipients charged in the case received Sandy benefits and illegally used their cards for cash in the months after the storm, the attorney general said.

The 18-month investigation revealed that in 2012 alone, Mr. Parkash and Ms. Rani rang up over $329,000 in SNAP benefits, authorities said while comparing those numbers to those SNAP benefits being tallied at nearby stores, none of which were higher than $6,439.

In every month since 2011, the couple redeemed more than $22,000 in SNAP benefits, with the number jumping to $36,000 in November 2012, and $30,000 in December after all SNAP card holders in Suffolk received the additional aide after Hurricane Sandy

The money laundering charge comes as a “result of his use of a bank account set up for the use of New York State Lottery business that came into his store, but which he used to launder proceeds of his illegal scheme,” authorities said.

Also arrested and charged with one count of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count of misuse of food stamps were: Carla Anderson, 38, of Riverhead; Jill Arrington, 38, of Calverton; Anthony Calloway, 36, of Riverhead; Lakisha Darden, 36, of Aquebogue; Eric Dunsing, 37, of Riverhead; Kerri Ferrante, 27, of Riverhead; Shavon Goode, 30, of Riverhead; Josie Harris, 47, of Riverhead; Jessica Kennedy, 27, of Riverhead; Cynthia Massenburg, 48, of Riverhead; Tameka Miles, 31, of Riverhead; Stephanie Nash, 28, of Riverhead; Troy Smolen, 46, of Riverhead and Sirena Trent, 38, of Riverhead.

Five others from elsewhere in Suffolk County were also arrested.

The defendants, several of whom were wearing pajamas, were arraigned Thursday in a packed courtroom.

Also indicted were Brenda Richardson, 50, of Riverhead; Eric Brown Jr., 24, of Riverhead and Anthony Durham Jr., 26, of Riverhead. They have not yet been apprehended.

The attorney general filed a civil suit against Mr. Parkash, Ms. Rani and their business, Shivani Enterprises, Inc., seeking restitution of more than $670,000 and damages of more than $2 million. The business was also criminally charged.

Police confiscated a computer, security cameras and information regarding food stamps during the gas station raid, according to witnesses at the store.

Mr. Parkash was also arrested in April 2012 on charges that he sold alcohol to a minor from the snack mart.

Town assessment rolls list Prabha Rani as the property owner.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police raided a Gulf gas station on East Main Street in downtown Riverhead Thursday morning, confiscating a computer, security cameras and information regarding food stamps, according to witnesses at the store.

A man at the station’s snack mart, who requested his name not be used in this report, said he received a phone call from the property owner requesting the man open the store to authorities.

The gas station was cordoned off while state police and New York State attorney general’s office investigators combed the store, the man said.

He said employees at the station’s snack mart didn’t know what prompted the raid. The store was re-opened about 9:20 a.m. after officers left the scene. State police said they are coordinating the investigation with the state attorney general’s office.

State officials would not comment on any arrests or pending charges.

The property owner could not be reached for comment.

cmurray@timesreview.com

TIM GANNON PHOTO | State police shut down the Gulf gas station property just west of the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center Thursday morning.

06/03/13 10:03am
06/03/2013 10:03 AM
Great job Riverhead police

PAUL SQUIRE FILE PHOTO | State troopers at a crime scene in Polish Town last month.

Online registration forms are now available for an upcoming state police officer examination, a job in which troopers are paid more than $70,000 after one year, officials announced Monday.

Exams are scheduled for Oct. 5, Oct. 12 and Oct. 26 and are being offered at several locations in New York State.

“The strength of the New York State Police comes from our diversity, said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. “ We are actively seeking qualified, committed and motivated candidates from all walks of life to take the trooper exam this fall.”

“To this end, I have dispatched recruiters from across the state to find those individuals.”

Starting annual salary for state troopers is $50,374 during academy training with a bump to $66,905 upon graduation.

Troopers earn $71, 261 annually after the first year on the job, with location compensation bumps for downstate officers, including those in Nassau and Suffolk counties, officials said.

Those interested in becoming a Trooper can apply on-line at www.NYTROOPER.com.

Examination results will establish an eligibility list that may remain in effect for a maximum of four years, officials said.

Read below for eligibility requirements and more information from New York State police officials.

 

Troopers Exam

05/23/13 8:00am
05/23/2013 8:00 AM
Great job Riverhead police

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Town police and state troopers teamed up to capture a shooting suspect Monday night on Osborn Avenue in Riverhead’s Polish Town

Alarm bells rang out through Polish Town Monday night as ambulances and town and state police cars — their lights and sirens blaring — descended on several crime scenes within minutes, and just a few blocks, of one another.

It was no terror scare, but it was no drill either. Police arrested a shooter accused of injuring a woman on Raynor Avenue with a shotgun blast and, in a separate case, a would-be armed robber on Osborn Avenue.

Monday night’s incidents, culminating with police officers storming an Osborn Avenue house and dragging out a suspected gunman, served as a reminder of the dangers our police and emergency workers face every night, often when the rest of us are tucked safely in our beds.

We also saw on full display the fine work of two police agencies that coordinated with each other and mobilized quickly to secure three crime scenes and make quick work of violent acts in our communities. While such incidents in town are, of course, cause for concern — and downright frightening for many — Riverheaders can take comfort in the quality of the men and women sworn to protect us.

03/01/13 6:53pm
03/01/2013 6:53 PM
VERA CHINESE FILE PHOTO | The Valero gas station on Main Road in Cutchogue.

VERA CHINESE FILE PHOTO | The Valero gas station on Main Road in Cutchogue.

State police troopers arrested one clerk during an undercover sting operation Thursday to test whether store employees would sell alcohol to a minor in Southold Town, authorities said.

But 12 other stores passed the test, state police said.

Mohammad Ayub, 51, of Flanders was the one person nabbed in the sting, police said.

Mr. Ayub, a clerk at Valero Food Mart on Main Road in Cutchogue, was charged with unlawful dealing with a child, a misdemeanor, and a state alcohol sales violation, police said.

No other details were available.

10/14/12 7:58pm
10/14/2012 7:58 PM

The same two passengers were victims in a pair of unrelated DWI crashes hours apart at the same Riverhead intersection late Saturday and early Sunday, state police said.

Two men were arrested on drunk driving charges in the incidents, which involved the same two victims in two different cars, officials said.

In the first incident, Byron Juares, 21, rear-ended a vehicle near the intersection of East Main Street and Phillips Avenue about 11:20 p.m., Riverhead police said. The drivers of the vehicle that was struck left the scene to be treated for minor injuries at Peconic Bay Medical Center, while Mr. Juares remained on the scene and was arrested.

The car that was struck was not immediately located by Riverhead police, but a few hours later a different vehicle carrying the same two passengers, who had returned to the scene, was struck head-on by another alleged drunk driver, state police said.

Cornelio Lopez, 31, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after he struck the vehicle in the second incident. He was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries, state police said.

The victims were also taken to the hospital for minor injuries, police said.

Mr.  Juares was charged with driving while intoxicated in the first incident, and held for arraignment. Mr. Juares’ place of residence was unavailable, police said.

psquire@timesreview.com