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Two Sentenced In North County Crimes

A Dunkirk man has been sentenced to seven years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision.

The Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday morning announced the sentence of Justin Baez on a plea to second-degree burglary before County Court Judge David Foley. The arrest and investigation were made by the Dunkirk Police Department.

In early January 2020, Baez was charged with three counts of third-degree burglary and one count each of third-degree criminal mischief, fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny, possession of burglar’s tools and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.

According to Dunkirk police, Baez was nabbed after officers received a report of a suspicious person inside a Central Avenue multi-family house. Upon their arrival, the officers saw him running from the scene. After a short foot chase, Baez was arrested in the basement of a house near Seventh Street and Washington Avenue.

Police determined that Baez unlawfully entered the Central Avenue dwelling and vandalized the coin-operated dryer to steal coins. Further investigation led to charges filed against him for allegedly unlawfully entering Fieldbrook Foods on Sunday and stealing an employee’s belongings and vandalizing a contractor’s trailer. Additionally, Baez was charged for allegedly entering Ehrheart’s Collision on Bucknor Street on Saturday and stealing cash.

About a week later, Baez was arrested in connection with a burglary at Rural Ministry. On Nov. 21, 2019, Rural Ministry, which is located at 319 Washington Ave., Dunkirk, was burglarized. Executive Director Kathleen Peterson said at the time that the perpetrator knifed screens, broke windows, stole a cash register and destroyed cameras.

Baez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court on the charges of third-degree burglary, criminal mischief and petit larceny. After arraignment, he was released as part of the New York State bail reform.

Also, according to the office, a Fredonia man charged with arson following a September 2020 fire at a village hotel will soon be headed to state prison.

Jason Maisonet was sentenced Jan. 13 before County Court Judge David Foley to one to three years following a plea to third-degree arson. Maisonet was facing a second-degree arson charge after firefighters were called Sept. 2, 2020, to the Econo Lodge Room 222 on Bennett Road for a mattress fire.

Officers evacuated tenants from the hotel while the fire was put out. An investigation into the origin of the fire by Fredonia Fire Chief Ryan Walker revealed it was suspicious in nature.

The investigation and arrest were made by the Fredonia Police Department, the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office announced.

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