Arrest Made in Connection to Webster Ambush
A 24-year-old woman has been arrested and charged in connection to the Webster fire and deadly shooting on Christmas Eve.
Dawn Nguyen of Rochester faces a state charge of filing a falsified business record and federal charges for knowingly making a false statement. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, or both.
“While William Spengler escaped the criminal justice system," U.S. District Attorney William Hochul said in a press conference this afternoon," those who provided the firearms to Spengler that he used Christmas Eve to murder and wound the firefighters and a police officer will not escape the criminal justice system."
Nguyen allegedly purchased a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun from GanderMountain in Henrietta in 2010.
“All we can say at this time is in the publicly filed court documents and those describe that Ms. Nguyen intentionally and knowingly obtained the weapons with the understanding that they would go to Spengler," Hochul said.
Nguyen and her mother, Dawn Welsher, lived next door to Spengler in 2008.
“This crime specifically alleges that when Dawn Nguyen purchased the guns," Hochul said, "that they were intended for Spengler. He was the true owner; she should have said that on the form. Now, had she said that, the affidavit makes clear that the transaction would not have been complete, since in fact, Spengler could not possess the guns. The affidavit also indicates that Spengler was with Nguyen at the time of the purchase of the gun.”
Spengler served almost 18 years in state prison for killing his grandmother. He was released in 1998 on supervised parole which was in effect until 2006. As an ex-convict, Spengler wouldn’t have been legally able to obtain or own firearms.
Batavia Police Deptartment Investigating More Reported Burglaries
The Batavia Police Department is investigating several residential burglaries in the south west area of the City.
These are in addition to three reported burglaries in the same area of Pearl Street and South Main Street last week. Detective Sergeant Pat Corona says the two sets of robberies are very similar.
“We think they are related because of the location and because of the hours they occurred, the means of entry, and also the articles taken," he said.
The suspects entered the homes through unlocked doors in all cases, as well as during daytime hours. Stolen items include laptop computers, small electronics, gift cards and jewelry.
“We are puttinig some extra patrols out in that southwest area," Corona said. "Our marked cars are keeping an extra eye on the neighborhood and also we’re putting some unmarked detective units in the area during the hours these (crimes) occurred, so hopefully we can bring this to a conclusion soon.”
BPD asks residents to report any strange activity or unknown persons in their neighborhood. They say people should not attempt to intervene, but rather obtain a description of the person or persons involved, any vehicles involved as well as any direction of travel. Residents are encouraged to call 911 immediately and report the incident.
Making sure doors are locked at all times is important, Corona says, but just as important is also making sure to documenting serial numbers or other identifying numbers for valuable items. This documentation will assist the police in tracking the items if necessary.
Anyone with information regarding these burglaries is encouraged to contact the Batavia Police Department at 345-6350. Residents may also contact the Confidential Tip Line at 345-6370.
AARP Pushing State Lawmakers to return EPIC in Full for 2013-2014
Seniors in the state’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage or EPIC will see some relief for at least the first three months of 2013.
Governor Andrew Cuomo restored funding for co-payment assistance in the state budget, effective January 1. However, in order for funding to continue beyond March 31, the program will have to be completely funded in the 2013-2014 budget, according to the AARP New York State Legislative Representative Bill Ferrin.
“When the legislature and the governor restored the co-payment assistance in last year’s budget, they said that they could only afford the first three months of 2013,” said Ferrin. “That’s why we are in this situation. So, the co-payment assistance will start on January 1 and end on March 31, the end of the state fiscal year. We are hoping that the governor will make a commitment to EPIC and fully fund the program for all of 2013.”
Approximately 290,000 New Yorkers who are 65 or older rely on EPIC to assist with their prescription drug coverage, with the average EPIC enrollee being a 78-year-old woman taking four drugs.
At the beginning of the New Year, co-pays for drugs will cost no more than $20 per prescription once a person is eligible for EPIC. The same co-payment was charged to those enrolled in the program during 2011.
In 2012, many seniors struggled to pay for their medications because of high co-pays, particularly if they were being treated for cancer or multiple sclerosis.
“An EPIC enrollee will go to the counter and they will have to pay twenty-five percent of the cost of their drug,” said Ferrin. “Before they would pay no more than $20 per co-pay, now they will go back to twenty-five percent per co-pay. Sometimes if someone is on a cancer drug or an expensive drug it will cost them several hundred dollars. What we heard in 2012 was that people were simply walking away from the counter.”
AARP is encouraging its members to call Governor Cuomo on a toll-free number to encourage him to fully include EPIC in his budget plan for next year. That toll-free number is 1-800-327-1198.