News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


otsego county sheriff’s department

5 Trucks Deemed Unfit For Roads During Sheriff’s Safety Inspection

5 Trucks Unfit For Roads,

Sheriff’s Inspection Fines

Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement safety check inspection on Friday, Dec. 5 in Exeter.

EXETER – Five of 12 trucks inspected during a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement safety check inspection were deemed unfit for the road and taken out of service, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department reported on their Facebook page.

On Thursday, Dec. 5, Deputy Sheriff Grimes along with Deputy Sheriff Thornhill partnered with the NYS Department of Transportation in the Town of Exeter to conduct a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement safety check inspection.

Missing Hartwick Woman, Dog Found Dead


Hunters Find Woman,

Dog Dead In Woods

By  LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Roxanne Shipman-Hull

HARTWICK – Roxanne Shipman-Hull, 48, the Hartwick woman who went missing in late September, was found yesterday morning dead in her car in the woods in Plainfield, Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. confirmed this afternoon.

According to Devlin, hunters on the state land near the area of Adams Pond Road and Mason Road on the Plainfield State Land came across a Honda-CRV sitting “a few hundred feet” back from the road on Sunday morning.

Cooperstown Man Arrested In Railroad Avenue Burglary

Cooperstown Man Arrested

In Railroad Avenue Burglary

The door to Upstate Companies was damaged during last night’s alleged burglary at 21 Railroad Avenue.  Ommegang’s business office, at the end of the hall, was also broken into. (Jim Kevlin/

COOPERSTOWN – A Cooperstown man was arrested hours after he allegedly broke into offices at 21 Railroad Ave. and stole items, including a computer and money.

Richard C. Abbate, 18, allegedly broke into the building after 11 p.m. last night and stole items from several offices, including a laptop from the Ommegang’s business office and meat from the Green Cow butcher shop.  He also allegedly took money from an office, and damaged several doors, including at Upstate Companies.

Police Investigating Break-In At 21 Railroad Avenue

Police Investigating

Break-In, Robbery

At 21 Railroad Ave.

At this hour, Cooperstown Police and the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an overnight break-in at 21 Railroad Ave. in Cooperstown. According to witnesses, the staff of Duvel Moortgat arrived to find that their door handle had been tampered with and a laptop was missing; the door handle of the Law Guardian office was also broken off and the door to Upstate Companies was kicked in. The staff of the Hometown Oneonta/Freeman’s Journal/ was at their offices on the first floor until 11 p.m. last night, but told police they did not hear anything unusual. The building has been evacuated and is currently considered a crime scene. (Jim Kevlin/
Fleeing Car Hit Deputy’s Cruiser In Westbound Lane


Fleeing Car Hit

Deputy’s Cruiser

In Westbound Lane

Ending a few minutes ago in the Oneonta State Police Barracks, BCI Capt. Scott Heggelke and county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. give particulars on Tuesday’s hot pursuit and fatal crash. (Ian Austin/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

ONEONTA – Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Mateunas was parked in the westbound lane of  Route 20 in his Chevy Tacoma with his emergency lights flashing when Matthew All, fleeing state police in hot pursuit, plowed into the deputy’s cruiser at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at 115 mph, according to a just-completed press briefing at the Oneonta State Police Barracks.

Earlier reports had the cruiser on the side of the highway.  There was no evidence All braked or tried to avoid the collision, County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. and Capt. Scott Hegelke of Troop C’s BCI unit said during the briefing.

The impact of All’s Buick LaCrosse pushed Mateunas’ SUV 200 feet, the equivalent of twice the length of the Oneonta barracks building on Oneida Street.

The autopsy showed All, 23, of Sharon Springs, was not intoxicated.  The briefing revealed All and Robin Church, the woman he was arguing with in front of the Richfield Springs State Police Barracks before the chase ensued, had been co-workers at some point, and he had been “harassing” her for a year.


Sheriff’s Deputies Seized Mushrooms, Marijuana, From Car


Sheriff’s Deputies Seize

Mushrooms, Marijuana

Marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms were allegedly found in a car being driven by Skyler Blass and Treyton Hathaway.
Skyler Blass
Treyton Hathaway

ONEONTA – Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two teenagers and seized three pounds of psilocybin mushrooms and five pounds of marijuana after locating a vehicle that had allegedly fled the scene of an accident over the weekend.

Skyler D. Blass, 19, Otego, and Treyton J. Hathaway 18, Oneonta, were arrested after Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputies were alerted by Otsego County 911 to be on the lookout for a vehicle that had fled the scene of a crash in the Town of Davenport.

Sheriff Advises: Take Care Of Your Outstanding Warrants

Warrant Sweep Begins,

Sheriff Devlin Advises

If One’s Outstanding For YOU, Take Care Of It

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – A warrant round-up is about to begin, and county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin is advising anyone with an outstanding fine or citation to appear in person to avoid being arrested as the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office executes a warrant roundup.

In a posting on the department’s official Facebook page, Devlin said that the sheriff’s deputies will be seeking out people with warrants pending to clear up their records.

SPCA, Sheriff, DA Form Animal Cruelty Task Force

SPCA, Sheriff, District Attorney

Form Animal Cruelty Task Force

John Muehl, Otsego County District Attorney, Stacie Haynes. executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA and Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. have partnered to begin establishing an Animal Cruelty Task Force, aimed at preventing, educating and empowering law enforcement on how to deal with animal cruelty cases.

COOPERSTOWN – The Susquehanna SPCA will partner with the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office to look at creating a task force dedicated to combating animal cruelty in the county.

“In addition to having a system in place for when we do have animal cruelty cases involving animal seizures, we plan to educate and empower law enforcement and the public about the humane treatment of animals and what we can do if we suspect cruelty,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA, in a statement.

Arrest Made in Pig Abuse Case

Arrest Made In

Pig-Neglect Case

With a container of dry corn, Alicia Neilsen seeks to lure one of the four rescued pigs into the Susquehanna Animal Shelter on Monday.  Neilsen, a volunteer at Leatherstocking Veterinary Services, New Berlin, is assisted by SAS volunteer Cat Chicorelli, left.. (Jim Kevlin/
Jared Talbot

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – An Oneonta man was arrested and charged with torturing animals after Otsego County sheriff’s deputies rescued his four emaciated pigs Monday from an un-insulated shed on Fisk Road in Laurens.

Jared J. Talbot, 21, was arrested today following a civilian complaint that led deputies to his property, where four pigs were found living without food or water and in an improper shelter.

100 Marijuana Plants Seized In Morris Raid

100 Marijuana Plants

Seized In Morris Raid

Christian Balmaceda
Joseph Ali

MORRIS – Two men were arrested and 100 pounds of marijuana seized after the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department raided two indoor growing operations in Morris and New Lisbon.

Christian Balmaceda, 47, Morris, and Joseph D. Ali, 49, New Lisbon, were both arrested after an investigation lead the Sheriff’s Deputies and the DEA to search the residences of both men.

Man Charged With Stealing Guns

Man Charged With Stealing Guns


LAURENS – A Sherburne man was arrested by the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department after he allegedly stole five guns and other items from a Laurens residence.

According to the complaint, Richard Garreau, aka Ricky Diamond, 22, was allowed to live with and was given a job by the victim. After Garreau moved out, the victim allegedly found that five guns and other personal items had been stolen from the residence and filed a report with the Sheriff’s Department.

Two Inmates Arrested At Otsego County Jail

Inmate Faces Cocaine

Charge; 2nd, Assault

Nancy Callahan
Mark Russitano

COOPERSTOWN – A fight and possession of crack cocaine led to new charges against two Otsego County jail inmates, according to releases sent today by the county Sheriff’s Department.

Nancy Callahan, 39, Richfield Springs, was arrested Wednesday, May 2, for possession of crack cocaine while incarcerated.

Mark A. Russitano, 32, Utica, was arrested Monday, May 7, for fighting with another inmate, deputies said.

Missing Otsego Woman Found Dead Near Home

Snow Melts, Missing

Woman’s Body Found

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Margaret Thayer

CATTOWN – The body of a 60-year-old woman missing since March 1 was located behind her home this morning in an area where snow drifts were recently several feet deep, Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. reports.

Deputies were at Margaret R. Thayer’s home on Parslow Road in the hamlet of Cattown, near Fly Creek, rechecking areas that have been previously searched by foot and with the help of K9s, Devlin said.

Foul play is not suspected at this time, the investigation is continuing, according to the sheriff.

Otsego Woman Still Missing After Storm

Otsego Woman Still

Missing After Storm

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Margaret Thayer

OTSEGO – Otsego County sheriff’s deputies are continuing their search for a 60-year-old woman who went missing from her Parslow Road home just before last week’s storms.

Margaret R. Thayer was reported missing March 6 after a friend went over to plow her driveway and saw that she was not home. “Our concern was that she was last seen right before the snowstorm,” said Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. “It’s been snowing consistently since then, which has hindered our ability to search.”

Thayer, a white female with grey hair and hazel eyes, is considered a “vulnerable adult.” According to Devlin, she has medical conditions and mobility issues. She has been known to wander, and deputies have responded to the address before to assist after she locked herself out of her home.

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