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Corrections officer admits possessing stolen goods, loses job

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A state corrections officer will resign his position as part of a plea agreement in Jefferson County Court that resolves charges that he possessed items stolen from several construction sites.

Aaron A. Netto, 36, of 23997 County Route 159, pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, attempted tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy, all misdemeanors. He entered his plea to conspiracy using an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit to the allegations, but was pleading guilty to avoid the possibility of being convicted of the charges at trial.

A trial was scheduled to start Monday in the matter, but was canceled with the pleas.

Mr. Netto was charged in a grand jury indictment handed up in March with possessing a refrigerator stolen from Value Homes, two generators stolen from Three Phase Line Construction, a Wacker tamper owned by Con Tech Building Systems, a Stihl chain saw stolen from Act II Construction and scaffolding belonging to McQuade & Bannigan. It also is alleged that he conspired with others to possess the stolen goods and that during the course of the police investigation into the matter, he moved the tamper from his residence to another location, resulting in the tampering with evidence charge.

In addition to resigning as a corrections officer from Riverview Correctional Facility, Ogdensburg, Mr. Netto faces up to three years’ probation at sentencing Nov. 22. He also will be ordered to pay $1,600 in restitution.

Jedadiah D. Romeo, 31, Watertown, pleaded guilty Feb. 19 to third-degree burglary in connection with the stolen goods, admitting that on Sept. 8, 2012, he entered the construction site of Samaritan Summit Village on Summit Drive in the town of Watertown with the intent to steal something. He also admitted that sometime from Sept. 15 to Sept. 17, 2012, he entered a second construction site in the town of Watertown, again with the intent to steal items.

Mr. Romeo was sentenced April 19 to an unspecified amount of time served at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building and five years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay $17,556 in restitution.

Burglary charges remain pending against Ryan P. Clement, 26, Watertown.

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