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This week's message takes us to Troop D and E.

Troop D

On Thursday, November 13, 2014, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Trooper William R. Liedka, SP Lafayette, received an anonymous tip that an individual in the town of Fabius, Onondaga County, had an illegal marihuana grow operation at his residence. The tipster also stated that this person had illegal handguns and was a convicted felon. Trooper Liedka responded to the residence and interviewed the elderly person in question at his door. During the interview, Trooper Liedka noted an odor of marihuana coming from within the residence. He asked to enter the residence for further questioning, and the homeowner agreed.

While in the residence, Trooper Liedka asked if there were any firearms present, and the suspect stated that there were two long guns that belonged to his girlfriend. Through further questioning, it was determined that the suspect was a convicted felon and also possessed two handguns in a coffee table drawer. Trooper Liedka placed the suspect into custody and notified several SP Lafayette members of the investigation. Senior Investigator Arthur L. Broccoli, Jr., Investigator Michael D. Biedermann, and Trooper Stewart M. Shute Jr., SP Lafayette, responded to conduct a more thorough search. Located during the search were approximately 1.2 pounds of marihuana, two long guns, two handguns, marihuana growing equipment and paraphernalia, and illegal fireworks. One of the handguns was determined to be stolen in a case from SP Horseheads. The suspect was transported to SP Lafayette where he was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree, Criminal Possession of Marihuana 2nd Degree, and Unlawful Dealing with Fireworks. The defendant was arraigned and released on his own recognizance, due to his age and declining health. The investigation is ongoing, and further charges are pending.

Due to the strong interview and investigative skills of Trooper Liedka, he was able to gain access to the inside of a residence which contained illegal firearms and drugs. With the help of other SP members, the guns and a significant amount of marihuana were removed from our streets.

Troop E

On November 10, 2014, at approximately 5:50 a.m., Troopers David J. Flanigen and Sean H. Wagner, SP Canandaigua, responded to a report of a subject stabbed at an apartment complex in the town of Farmington. Upon their arrival, they observed an adult male who was stabbed in the stomach and bleeding profusely. EMS arrived and transported the victim to Strong Memorial Hospital. While en route to the hospital, the victim who spoke very little English, was able to provide information on his attacker. He identified the attacker by name and stated he was his roommate. A description of the suspect was then broadcasted to all patrols. Senior Investigator Christopher L. Baldwin and Investigators Miklos S. Szoczei II and Mark E. Eifert arrived on the scene along with Sergeant/SC Brent W. Bowman, SP Canandaigua, and several other uniform members. The apartment and surrounding area were secured, and Troop E FIU members responded to process the scene.

Investigator David J. Cerretto, SP Waterloo, responded to the hospital to further interview the victim. Trooper Michael A. Kien with K-9 Dodge, SP Rochester, arrived shortly thereafter and started a K-9 track at the apartment complex. T/Sergeant Michael J. Eberl, Aviation Rochester, arrived by Division helicopter.

At approximately 7:50 a.m., T/Sergeant Rock A. Cerretto, Troop E Communications, radioed dispatch that he was going to interview a male he observed matching the description of the suspect walking across the highway a short distance from the assault location. T/Sergeant Cerretto and other arriving uniform members took the suspect into custody without incident and transported him to SP Canandaigua for questioning. Investigator Nicholas C. Medina, SP Horseheads, and Trooper Angel L. Quintero, SP Rochester, who are fluent in Spanish, arrived at SP Canandaigua to interview the suspect. It was determined that he is a Guatemalan national who was deported in 2009, and he reentered the US illegally. After interrogating the suspect at length, he admitted to stabbing the victim and led the Investigators to the weapon, which was secreted at the apartment complex.

The suspect was charged with Assault 1st Degree, with other charges pending. He is currently being held in the Ontario County Jail. The victim is expected to make a full recovery.

The quick response of Troopers Flanigen and Wagner, coupled with their ability to obtain and disseminate the suspect's description, was vitally important in his capture. This information, along with situational awareness, enabled T/Sergeant Cerretto to identify the suspect. Additionally, the interview and interrogation skills displayed by Investigator Medina and Trooper Quintero resulted in a full confession and the recovery of the weapon. All members involved are to be commended for their professionalism and dedication, which resulted in a serious assault being quickly closed by arrest.

To all the members involved in these two cases, congratulations on jobs well done. To them, and all our Troopers on Patrol, keep up the tradition.

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