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Massena woman jailed for 90 days for passing counterfeit bills

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MASSENA - A 23-year-old Massena woman was sentenced to 90 days after she admitted she had passed counterfeit bills in October at two businesses in the village.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson also ordered Tori A. Paquin of 93 1/2 Maple St. to pay a $205 surcharge, which was reduced to civil judgment, for a third-degree forgery conviction.

The guilty plea also satisfied a declaration of delinquency filed by the probation department alleging Paquin had failed to report as directed to her probation officer, failed to complete 30 hours of community service and been arrested on new charges since being placed on probation in January 2012 for a petit larceny conviction. Paquin and a co-defendant had been charged with shoplifting merchandise valued at $14.91 from the Massena Walmart.

Mr. Gustafson noted the probation department’s pre-sentence investigation had recommended a substantial period of incarceration.

Village police had charged Paquin with two felony counts of first-degree forgery after she allegedly passed counterfeit bills in October 2011 at establishments in Massena.

Village police had charged Paquin with a felony count of first-degree forgery. Prosecutors later replaced that count with a prosecutor’s information charging her with a misdemeanor count of third-degree burglary. Police said that at about 4:30 p.m. Oct. 20, 2011 Paquin presented two counterfeit $20 bills at Woody’s General Store in Massena in exchange for smaller denomination bills.

She is also accused of presenting a counterfeit $20 bill that same day at the Sunoco store in Massena to purchase goods.

In a statement she signed for police, Paquin said she was at her mother’s house looking for something to take so she could sell it and buy some drugs.

“While I was looking through a drawer in the living room I found $20 bills. There was about $100 in 20s. I took about $60 in 20s. The money looked real to me,” she said.

Paquin said that, when she attempted to use the money to purchase drugs, she was told it was counterfeit.

“I then went to Sunoco and bought a Red Bull. I got money off of my card at the same time. I got change back from this fake $20 I passed. I bought drugs with the change I got from Sunoco,” she told police.

Paquin said that she also took two $20 bills to Woody’s General Store and was successful in getting change.

“I then left at this time. I think it was a few days after that is when I went back to Woody’s General Store with two more of the fake $20s. I asked the cashier if he would give me change for $40. He took the money from me and then realized they were fake. He told me the money was not real and called his boss,” Paquin said in her statement, noting she returned home and tore up the remaining counterfeit money.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Zachary R. Martin(-Flanders), 24, of 6757 Route 56, Apt. 6, Potsdam, had his probationary sentence term extended.

He had admitted in October he had violated the conditions of his probationary sentence by failing to complete recommended treatment and smoking marijuana.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison B. Appleby said Martin had successfully completed an outpatient substance abuse treatment program and continued to test negative for drug use since October. She said he has also become involved in a vocational training program.

“He has been making good strides,” Ms. Appleby told the court.

Mr. Gustafson had fined Martin $100 and a $205 surcharge and placed him on probation for three years in February 2013 for a second-degree reckless endangerment conviction.

The declaration of delinquency had alleged Martin had refused to give a urine sample and admitted he had smoked marijuana when he met with his probation officer the next month.

Probation department officials, in a report prepared for the court, also charged Martin had successfully completed an in-patient treatment program in early May 2013 but had rejected a request to enter a halfway house.

Village police had charged Martin following an incident on the morning of Jan. 8, 2012.

Police said they responded to a Sunday morning domestic dispute call at Martin’s residence at 29 Martin St., where he lived at the time with his mother and stepfather.

He reportedly ran out of the house, jumped in a vehicle, refused to follow a patrolman’s order to exit the vehicle and then accelerated the engine, backing out of the driveway and nearly striking the police officer who was standing near the back of the vehicle.

He also allegedly had unplugged the phones inside the residence after his parents told him they were calling the police during the domestic dispute.

In recent court action before Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow:

■ Cole S. Cree, 30, of 298 state Route 37, Hogansburg, was ordered to pay a $125 surcharge and placed under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation he perform 25 hours of community service after a fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon count was reduced to a disorderly conduct violation.

Cree had admitted he had illegally possessed a 30.06 Mossberg ATR rifle on Oct. 22, 2013. He is unable to possess a weapon as the result of a July 15, 2006 conviction for criminal possession of a weapon.

The charge was filed after Cree entered the U.S. port of entry in Rooseveltown in an effort to register the rifle he had planned to take with him when he entered Canada.

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