Columbia County Sheriff’s Office personnel have arrested a former Copake resident and charged him with sexual offenses.
John R. Mastropolo, 84, of Westchester County was charged with first degree criminal sexual act, a B felony and first degree sex abuse, a class D felony, November 4 at 10:34 a.m., according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.
Senior Investigator Mark Dunspaugh and Investigator Thomas Merante, Jr. began the investigation October 15. During the course of the investigation it was discovered that two victims had allegedly fallen prey to Mr. Mastropolo, the release said. The alleged sexual acts occurred in Copake from 2015 to 2016 when the victims were less than 11 years old.
Mr. Mastropolo was arraigned in Copake Court before Justice Glenn Schermerhorn. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court November 23.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by the Child Advocacy Center of Columbia-Greene Counties and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation is continuing and Sheriff Bartlett urges anyone with information regarding Mr. Mastropolo to contact Sr. Inv. Dunspaugh of the Special Victims Unit at 518-828-3344
The execution of several search warrants led to the arrest of five individuals, along with the discovery of more than 500 grams of cocaine and crack-cocaine, four handguns, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, cash, and drug paraphernalia. The drugs have an estimated street value of over $50,000, according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.
The Columbia County Drug Enforcement and Education Unit (CCDEEU) executed multiple search warrants on individuals, vehicles, and premises of those engaged in the suspected distribution of narcotics.
The warrants stemmed from drug sales investigations in the City of Hudson, Village of Philmont and the Town of Claverack. The CCDEEU was assisted with these investigations by the Hudson Police Department Detective Unit, the State Police Violent Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team (VGNET), the Capital District Drug Task Force (DEA Albany), and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office.
On October 26 at 8:35 p.m., a search warrant was executed at 9 South Seventh Street in Hudson. The search warrant was for the person, vehicle and premises of Micheal P. Kelley, 35, of Hudson. During the search investigators found about 150 grams of powder and crack-cocaine, along with packaging, and scales. There was also a quantity of heroin recovered. Mr. Kelley was subsequently charged with second degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (more than 4 oz), a class A11 felony, and third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (intent to sell), a class B felony. He was arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge John Connor and was sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail.
Mr. Kelley returned to City Court October 27 and was released on his own recognizance.
October 28 at 9:34pm, CCSO investigators and deputies executed a search warrant for the vehicle, premises and persons of Kertrice R. Willis, 27, and Benjamin Rodriguez, 40, both of Philmont. A search of a vehicle led to the discovery of about 190 grams of crack-cocaine. A search of the premises at 104 Main Street, Apartment 3 in Philmont led to the discovery of a quantity of crack-cocaine, heroin, marijuana, packaging, and scales. Also found during the search of the premise was a defaced and loaded Springfield 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Ms. Willis and Mr. Rodriquez were both charged with second degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (more than 4 oz), a class A11 felony) and third degree criminal possession of a weapon (defaced weapon), a class D felony. Both defendants were arraigned in Claverack Court before Justice Michael Brandon and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. They are due back in Claverack Court November 20.
October 29, 2020 at 8:58 p.m., CCSO investigators, deputies, and the Columbia-Greene Shared Services Response Team (CGSSRT) executed a search warrant at 440 State Route 66, Lot 41 (Dutch Village Mobile Home Park) in Claverack. The warrant was for the premises, and person of Orlando Hughes, 40, of Hudson. The search led to the discovery of about 189 grams of crack cocaine, a small quantity of ecstasy, about $1,300, scales, and packaging. Also located during the search were three handguns—a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was defaced, a Ruger SR 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and a Ruger P90 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Mr. Hughes was charged with second degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (more than 4 oz), a class A11 felony; third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd degree (intent to sell), a class B felony; two counts of third degree criminal possession of a weapon (individual convicted of a prior crime), a class D felony, and third degree criminal possession of a weapon (defaced weapon), a class D felony. Also present at the time of this search was Samantha R. Goodson, 32, of Hudson, who is on parole out of New York City for an attempted robbery conviction. She was charged with second degree criminal possession of a controlled substance (more than 4 oz), a class A11 felony. Mr. Hughes and Ms. Goodson were arraigned in Claverack Court before Justice Brandon, and sent to the Columbia County Jail without bail. They are due back in the Claverack Court at a later date.
All the warrants were signed by Columbia County Court Judge Richard Koweek.
These investigations continue, and additional charges are possible. The status and origin of the handguns also remains under investigation, however, none of these individuals were permitted to possess handguns in New York State.
Sheriff Bartlett stated in the release, “Our Office will continue to target individuals engaged in illegal drug activity within our County. I am very thankful that we were able to remove such a large quantity of drugs and illegal handguns from our communities.”
Anyone with information about drug activity is urged to call the Sheriff’s Office drug tip line at 518-822-TIPS (8477).