Onondaga County District Attorney

Chris Bolt / WAER-FM 88.3

Law enforcement officials in Central New York and across the state are sounding the alarm about pending justice reforms set to take effect January first.  Surrounded by dozens of deputies, officers and supporters, Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway says they had no opportunity to offer their insights to lawmakers or the governor when they crafted the new laws. 


Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick has not one, but two opponents going into this year’s election.  The seven-term republican is being challenged by defense attorney and democrat Chuck Keller, and attorney Gary Lavine on the Conservative Party line. 


Longtime Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick will be joined by his two opponents Thursday evening at a forum that aims to engage residents on the importance of the county’s top lawyer.


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Earlier this year the tragic story of Baby Maddox Lawrence captivated the Central New York Community.  Today her father, Ryan Lawrence was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole for her murder.  Lawrence expressed regrets in court and took responsibility.

Scott Willis/WAER News

  The search for the 21-month old girl reported missing Sunday ended in tragic fashion when the body was found Tuesday in the Inner Harbor.  Details are starting to tell the story of an abduction and alleged murder.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The synthetic drug epidemic continues in Central New York, and Congressmember John Katko and his colleagues have submitted legislation aimed at getting the drugs off the shelves.   If approved, the measure would remove a key barrier to prosecuting those who sell the substances.  Law enforcement officials on all levels have been saying for years that their hands are often tied because the drugs have to be on the federal drug analog statute to warrant arrests. 

John Smith, WAER News

Onondaga County and State law enforcement agencies are hoping a new tip line in the form of an app will provide them with more information from the public to solve serious crimes or report suspicious activity. The app is called Tip 411. Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says the system is already in operation in about 100 areas statewide. Now people have to be empowered to use it.

ongov.net

  Syracuse Police got one more way today to go after the stores that sell synthetic marijuana and other designer drugs...using a law originally meant to cut down on noise and petty crime.  The Common Council approved expanding the Nuisance Abatement law to include synthetic cannabinoids...and phenethylamines.  Councilor Pam Hunter say a spike in calls for people using these substances is creating a safety hazard for first responders. 

narconon.org

Federal and local law enforcement agencies have broken up a large drug trafficking ring that brought heroin from Newark, NJ to the Syracuse area.  Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says his office and the Drug Enforcement Agency began investigating the drug ring a year ago.   Federal agents seized 10,000 packets of heroin totaling 13 ounces, and 19 people have either been arrested or face arrest in connection to the ring.   The alleged leader of the trafficking organization, 41-year-old Calvin Marshall, was one of six arraigned Wednesday morning on conspiracy and drug possession charges, with Marshall accused of being a major trafficker.  Eight others have already pleaded guilty, and 7 of them have been sentenced.  Police are trying to track down the remaining five.   In addition to the heroin, investigators also seized $100,000 in cash and property, and a handgun. DA Fitzpatrick says their investigation doesn’t end with this bust; he says his office will continue to partner with federal, state, and local agencies to stop the influx of heroin into the community.   The following individuals were arrested  Tuesday in a coordinated raid:

wikipedia.org

Two cases decided Thursday by New York’s highest court give defendants more ability to say they were bullied by police during interrogations.  One local attorney puts into perspective how it might change police interview practices. 

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