Gone Today, Here Tomorrow: Bail Reform Revitalizes Herkimer Drug Gang

Herkimer drug dealers partying

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Stephen Ames Berry

New York’s catch-and-release bail reform law, aided and abetted by Covid-19, has revitalized our local Herkimer drug gang. They operate out of their landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue–a barely post-pubescent pack of males supplied by equally young Kyle Stone, who lives at 332 with his mother. Part of the Stanley Sykes’ gang‘s extended family, Kyle’s their Pleasant Avenue distribution point, moving a steady stream of narcotics in and out of 332. Stuff comes in big bulging backpacks and goes in smaller ones, or via Kyle at the wheel of his mom’s new car.

Kyle Stone Herkimer gang thug
Kyle Stone at a previous illegal fire- 332 Pleasant Ave.

In the real world, Kyle would be in jail. Yet after a lengthy police hunt for him on a felony charge stemming from an incident in front of 332, he returned home–it wasn’t a violent crime, so Kyle scooted home under the kinder, gentler bail reform law. The courts here remain mostly closed due to Covid-19, so justice hasn’t yet been meted out to Kyle, and to many others.

NY bail reform failure illustration
4.5.20 Gone today, here tomorrow. Arrested 332 Pleasant Ave drug gangbangers quickly set loose under bail reform law.

One of those is his friend, Xavier Rowe. Rowe was involved in the same incident as Stone, and may be free  under the same circumstances as Stone, or he may have been serving time in the county jail for yet another of his petty crimes, and was released due to the pandemic. Hard to say, given Herkimer County’s lack of on-line court and arrest records.  We did see Kyle evade arrest in an incident at 332 on 4/20, which saw several of his friends taken into custody. It’s all good–they were freed the same day and no one seems to have troubled Kyle any further about it.

 Both Kyle and Xavier and the rest of Kyle’ krew are brazenly trafficking out of 332 Pleasant and living the good life, infesting the front of 332 and the street, and partying in the  parking behind 332. The parking lot–Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Lot–serves the three houses comprising the sanctuary Jay Smith has long maintained for Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers. The houses have been gang-occupied since we moved here 6 years ago and began observing events there.

Herkimer Drug Gang’s Preferred Party Venue

Gang parties in Smith’s parking lot aren’t complete without an illegal fire and foul music. The more dangerous the fire the better. The gang of Lost Boys partied this week–unusually, one even brought a girl. The police responded, but too late to snag anyone. Police resources seem  strained by the pandemic, with the state police who usually back up the Herkimer PD no longer much in evidence.

Hopefully criminal court sessions will soon resume, police numbers will go back up and Kyle and Xavier will receive help to turn their young lives around, preferably in a 24/7 setting. (Our new Herkimer County Jail still has that new jail smell.)

As for the bail law, there’s much pressure to modify it again. It was written by people who live in southern New York, in places like Westchester, where the actions of criminals are but an intellectual abstraction, a remote cause  rarely affecting their privileged lives. Legislators are belatedly awakening to their danger, awareness dawning that if they don’t restore rationality to the bail process, they’ll suffer in the next election. If not, beleaguered citizens may protect themselves by taking matters into their own hands. (We’re thinking of supplementing  our puny garden hose with a power wash.)

Kyle’s party of of 6/8/20 saw the use of about a quart of fire accelerant.  The fire smoldered through the night and had to be extinguished by a concerned neighbor the next morning. (I reported the fire to county 911, and police responded as quickly s they could, but apparently no one checked the fire–see above, police resources are strained.)

Below’s the zoomed video. (Note the heavy use of an accelerant.)
[Link to uncropped original.]

332 Pleasant Ave Fire Night Timeline 6/8/20

00:01-00:33  6/5/20 Drug backpackers arrive at Kyle Stone’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. Occurs daily. Curiers come and go from 332. Kyle himself distributes what they bring throughout the village in mom’s new car, taking care to do so as loudly as possible.

00:33-00:54 6/8/20 Workers rewarded: Party for drug gang begins, rear of 332 Pleasant Ave. Noted longtime Herkimer drug and child trafficker Carrie Ann Bass (Stanley Sykes Gang) drives by, stops to chat with Xavier Rowe (ratface, scraggly beard) and Kyle Stone, as Stone liberally applies accelerant to illegal fire. (Next to our fence.)

00:55-01:09 Stone applies more accelerant to fire.

01:14-02:10 Stone applies more accelerant to fire.

02:15 Party heats up.

02:10-02:53 Guest applies more accelerant.

03:00-03:19 Dry grass added to fire as Xavier Rowe stirs fire.

03:19-04:30 Sample of  music boomed from Kyle Stone’s car (white, doors open, right). Recorded in our bedroom with the windows shut. This is the cleanest portion I could find without overexposing myself. Sexual and misogynistic portions excluded.

04:31-04:40 Kyle Stone and Xavier Rowe move table closer to fence and security light we provide for the gang’s convenience. (If they were monkeys, they’d be shaking their butts at the camera and throwing scat at the fence.)

04:41-08:24 Table activities start. Seems to involve crack sharing and smoking [07:00] and card playing.

0:825- 09:44  Long segment for purpose of shared observation: Maybe something else going on at the table. My camera lacks the resolution to see what. Maybe you can enhance it?

09:45 A male finally pays brief attention to the sole female guest. She is not happy. (Stone and Rowe I’ve never seen with a woman. Willowy blond guys, yes. Women, no.)

10:24 – Party breaks up.

10:35 Pleasant Avenue in front of 332 Pleasant. Herkimer Police arrive. I’d called about 30 minutes before, I believe. (I was asleep on watch.) With the state-wide demands of the pandemic and demonstrations, state police who usually backup the Herkimer PD are evidently elsewhere.

10:35 Kyle Stone in car in driveway between 332 and 334 Pleasant.

11:05  Police leave without checking for the fire I had reported to county 911.

11:10-END 6/9 1030 hrs. Fire still smoldering from generous application of accelerant. A concerned neighbor douses it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:

This blog is my perspective on dwelling in our small village nestled among beautiful forests, farms and open landscapes. Educated in Israel and the US, I have an MS in Computer Science. My viewpoint has been shaped by world travel, friends and benefactors both strangers and people I know. Linda Kaidan