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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Take Down Pleasant Ave Gangbangers

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Stephen Ames Berry

Police bust Herkimer gangbangers
4.5.20 Herkimer and State Police bust gangbangers at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Ave.

On 4.5, in a dramatic late-hours take down, Herkimer and state police took two drug gangbangers into custody.  This followed a confrontation between Kyle Stone of 332 Pleasant, a runner for the Stanley Sykes gang, two of his fellow gang members and police. Stone was able to stash his bulging backpack in his mother’s house before fleeing the scene.  As Stone likes to serenade his neighbors with “I’m gonna sell crack and until I die.,” I assume his backpack was laden with drugs, ready for wee-hours trafficking throughout our pastoral village. The trio  and other gang members are a familiar late night sight on the front steps of Kyle’s mom’s house, itself part of a Yuletide gift by landlord Jay Smith to Herkimer. 

Herkimer Resisting Arrest
4.5.20 What resisting arrest looks like.
Herkimer gangbanger arrested
Herkimer police escort first of two Pleasant Avenue gangbangers to police vehicle.
arrested gangbanger taken away
Herkimer police escort second Pleasant Avenue gangbangers to police vehicle.

Stone, like other petty criminals, has been taking full advantage of New York’s new catch-and-release bail law. Many of them are let free to run amok while awaiting trial. Happily, that law has been modified in this year’s legislation. It’s only a matter of time before local scofflaws get to check out the accommodations at our new, empty county jail, complete with that new jail smell.

Here’s the video of the takedown. 

Video Timeline of Arrests  (minutes) 4.5.20 at 332 Pleasant Ave.

0:01 – 3:10 Kyle Stone and fellow gangbangers on porch at landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Ave. Herkimer rental. Kyle wearing large backpack
3:11 First police units arrive. (State police)
3:31 Herkimer PD unit arrives.
4:00 Gangbangers, led by Kyle, grow more belligerent and confrontational.
4:13 Kyle shows officers where the property line is.
5:36 More officers arrive. Gang appears to be taunting them.
7:30 Kyle belligerently waving his cellphone. Gang appears defiant, hostile, confrontational.
9:24 Kyle removes his backpack. It goes off camera.
9:37 Woman neighbor appears. Tries to get Kyle to deescalate. Confrontation continues.
10:56 Gangbangers go into house.
11:23 Kyle (red shirt) returns to porch. (No backpack.)
12:00 More state police arrive. Kyle belligerent.
12:31 All gangbangers back on porch. Kyle leads in hurling defiance.
13:20 Led by Herkimer officers, police storm the porch, make arrests. Kyle hides in house.
15:17 As friends arrested, Kyle flees from rear of house, down driveway between 332/334 Pleasant.
16:39 Kyle taunts police, then runs off toward Protection Ave. Police pursue.
18:10 Kyle’s mother cleans up.
18:25 Separate clip: Unhappy gangbangers taken away.

(4.16.20 – Added photo “What resisting arrest looks like.”)

Unfortunately, the gang bangers were quickly released:

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

Amanda West Performs Herkimer Gangs’ Swan Song

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Stephen Ames Berry

This paid performance on 9/20 by Herkimer gang thug Amanda West brought home how well we and our videos have done to help affect change here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.  And how hated they and we are by Herkimer area drug and child traffickers.

West’s twilight solo signaled the twilight of the gang economy here in Herkimer—the Herkimer gangs’ swan song. Everything’s against them: local and federal law enforcement are all over them, prosperity looms, with real estate prices soaring and huge investments in the regional economy. All the ingredients are in place for a return to the sort of prosperity not seen in Herkimer for over 40 years. Our region is a recognized national sweet spot for climate change relocation. People and jobs will just keep coming. Gangs only prosper amid poverty and despair. 

Classic Herkimer Gang Intimidation Shtick

Amanda West assailed us in a classic exhibition of the sort of gang behavior that long worked to intimidate people here into silence or panicked flight.  West invaded our property, streaming  30 minutes of threats and abuse as she acted the outraged mother in an often bizarre diatribe of pacing and hand clapping. She was accompanied by a male she called Cory, who from what he said is probably Cory Rowe, parent of local criminal Xavier Rowe and of Alexis Rowe. It was obvious at the end that West’s gig was underwritten by the Stanley Sykes’ gang, which has nestled for years in landlord Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue, destroying lives as they help fuel the opioid crisis.

West’s was ostensibly enraged at the appearance of “my 19 year old daughter” in one of our Herkimer Post crime videos. That would be Alexis Rowe of neighboring 332 Pleasant Avenue, formerly home to junior gangbanger Xavier Rowe. Alexis may or may not be West’s daughter—gang members lie a lot. In the supposedly offending video, Alexis appears to be receiving a narcotics treat from putative dad Cory, who has just been visited by what appear to narcotics wholesalers, bringing fresh product to drug distribution points, like Cory and Amanda’s 328 Pleasant Avenue. West herself does not appear in the video.

Herkimer police have made arrests stemming from the July 22nd incident in front of 332 Pleasant Avenue,  captured by our cameras, allegedly involving Xavier Rowe and Kyle Stone, both gone as the wheels of justice grind on. Besides the video of Cory welcoming the drug dealers in front of 328 Pleasant, we posted another video of a flock of Stanley Sykes’ gang members on his front porch, apparently trying to redominate the middle of Pleasant Avenue. 328 Pleasant Avenue’s new owner, who doesn’t live in Herkimer, apparently saw the videos. 

On September 7, Cory and Amanda and some unknown children relocated quickly and unhappily from 328. They’re not homeless: 328 was probably just a place of criminal business for them, as it was before them for Curtis Cool, who long rented 328 from Harriett Tangorra. During most of our six years in Herkimer, drugs and kids and criminal visitors came and went from 328 Pleasant Avenue.  That’s ended. Will it last? Our cameras will tell.

Here’s the raw footage of Amanda West’s performance at our home on 9/20.  The first five minutes are its unwholesome heart. She’s brandishing one of the antique wooden posts I was replacing on our front porch roof. I’d left it out, not suspecting it would become a gang prop. The timeline follows below the video.

Amanda West menacing old folks
Amanda West seems pleased with her performance on our porch.

Amanda West and Cory Rowe Arrested and Charged

Amanda West got to spend that bail money she bragged of in the video. She  and Cory Roe were arrested and charged with trespassing and harassment, according to Herkimer Officer Jason Crippin. The case is pending a criminal hearing. In their compensated performance they were careful not to threaten us personally, which would have elevated our criminal complaint against them to the status of menacing. A repeat performance will earn them a fresh arrest and a charge of 2nd Degree Criminal Harassment. 

Suggestions to the Gang for an Impassioned Door Front Performance

Keep it short. End with a bang. The finest contemporary example of this is from the series “Rome,” the “Death Mask” episode, in which Brutus’ mother Servilia, covered in Brutus’ ashes, calls upon the gods to visit justice upon Atia of the Julii.  If you copy Servilia’s finale, Herkimer will thank you and we’ll publish it. 
                                                       Servilia Curses Atia

video

Thug on the Run – Police Dragnet Out for Kyle Stone

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer police are scouring the area for gang member Kyle Stone.  Stone is wanted on a felony charge stemming from an incident on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue in the early morning of July 22.

Herkimer police hunting for Khye Stone
9.20.19 Herkimer police out in force along Pleasant Avenue, hunting for Kyle Stone
Kyle Stone gang member at illegal bonfire
Kyle Stone, bonfire builder..

Kyle’s a real bad boy, as you can see in our videos of him.  He lives next door to us at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. We haven’t seen Kyle since Thursday, 9/19. It’s been quiet without him screaming death and arson threats at us in the night. Or singing “I’m gonna sell crack until I die,” as he leaps through his illegal bonfires, sparks flying into our trees.

Oddly, we haven’t noticed any instances of poison gas spraying of us or our property since Kyle and his partner in crime Xavier Rowe left. (Xavier has already been arrested–not for the first time.)

Xavier Rowe Herkimer mugshot
Xavier Rowe after his arrest on a previous charge.

Kyle is a very junior and seemingly not highly valued member of the Stanley Sykes Gang, which still operates out of Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue. It’s currently occupied by Stanley Sykes’ grandson’s mother, Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass, Stanley having moved after our Herkimer child trafficking series. She seemingly just traffics drugs out of there throughout the day. No more little kids coming and going day and night.

The gang’s very indignant that the privacy of their parking lot sanctuary is now routinely violated by law enforcement. You can sometimes hear them bitching at night from beneath their picnic canopy behind 341 Eureka.

Herkimer Police at 341 Eureka Ave
9.20.19 Herkimer police again violate the sanctity of the Sykes Gang’s 341 Eureka Avenue picnic pavilion as they search for gang’s Kyle Stone.

Video Timeline
0:01-1:08 Police arrive in force on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.
1:09-2:30 Search in and around Kyle’s mother’s rental at 332 Pleasant Avenue.
2:31-3:31 Police approach 341 Eureka Avenue (rear) and trouble Carrie Ann Bass.
3:31-3:40 Police questions Kyle’s mother. (We like her. She seems a very nice person, as does her daughter.)
3:41-End Photo of Kyle Stone during one of his illegal summer bonfires.

If you see this thug on the run, please call the Herkimer Police at 315.866.4330. Or dial 911.  We don’t want him back. And you don’t want him walking our streets. Things are looking up for Herkimer and the region. Time to close these legacy criminals down.

Kyle Stone Herkimer gang thug
Kyle Stone, Herkimer gang thug

Kyle Stone Herkimer Gang Performer

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by Stephen Ames Berry

Kyle Stone, Herkimer gang performer best known for his fire and water gigs, on 7/22 took his art into the street. In an arresting two-hour performance on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, Stone debuted a brilliantly choreographed show of gritty urban realism. His repertoire of antisocial behaviors interwove crack smoking, public intoxication and urination, drunken and and reckless driving, bullying, alleged property damage and  assault. It was a  microcosm of the Herkimer gang behaviors that have long blighted the community.

Kyle Stone pisses on Herkimer
Kyle Stone (left) of Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Ave and fellow gang member piss on Herkimer. The gang’s two-hour performance included Kyle’s apparent DUI, property destruction, alleged assault and crack smoking.

Stone was ably backed up by his band of fellow druggies, seen most nights on the porch of Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. One of them provided the gray Dodge Dart used by Kyle for his high-speed drunken runs. (Vehicle identification courtesy of Herkimer police.)

The show concluded with Kyle and the gang allegedly driving a reluctant participant off camera and beating him, according to Herkimer police. He’s the tall kid with glasses and cap who looks like he should be in the high school science club.

Below is a shorter version of the gang’s two-hour performance video provided Herkimer police at their request. Watch closely and you’ll see Kyle throughout, tying to bully the alleged beating victim into smoking something other than cigarettes. He fails. A tip of the big hat to Mr. Science for courage and personal integrity. It’s rare in Herkimer. May he find some friends worthy of him. 

Video Timeline
0:01-0:37  Gang’s party car and driver arrive. (Gray Dodge Dart.) Driver goes into driveway of Jay Smith’s 332-334 Pleasant Ave. gang rentals.
0:38-1:21     Kyle Stone warms up for his performance.
1:22-1:31      Kyle staggers about. Watch as he tries to physically intimidate tall, non-drug using kid, later allegedly beaten up by Kyle.
1:32-1:58      Kyle dancing with seemingly lit crackpipe.
1:59-2:33      Kyle in driver’s seat, smokin’. 
2:34-3:18      Kyle preps for his signature Dance-of-the-Piss. Car’s driver accompanies.
3:19-3:34       Kyle’s The-Dance-of-the-Piss.
3:35-3:52       Kyle returns to drivers’ seat of car. All now in car.
3:53-5:53       Kyle and gang merrily speed off to King Street. Return going to Protection Avenue. (Who is that woman and what was she doing off-camera?)
5:54-6:29     Speeds back down Pleasant Avenue to King Street. Allegedly caused property damage around PK’s Pub, according to Herkimer PD. Pub is on the corner of King and Pleasant.
6:30-7:02     Car again blasts down Pleasant Avenue toward Protection Avenue. This time does not return. Here Kyle’s alleged to have beaten the reluctant party-going kid.
7:03-8:19      Alleged beating victim returns on foot to 332 Pleasant. Appears to be in pain and agitated. Woman is 332’s sole wage-earner and apparently Kyle’s long-suffering relative.
8:20-End     Herkimer police arrive.

Kyle Stone – Herkimer Boy-Next-Door in Action

Did Kyle beat anyone up? Don ‘t know. But if he thought he was being “disrespected”? Probably. Here’s a recent short video of Kyle’s antics with a shovel and neighbor Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins Bass., after he thought she’s disrespected him. She’s the keeper of the Stanley Sykes Gang’s 347 Eureka Avenue, to the right of the video.  Guessing Kyle grew up while Carrie Ann was around. (Sykes and Stones are closely allied.)

A Herkimer Kidnapping – Somangshu Mukherji and the Herkimer Sheriff

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Stephen Ames Berry

“A child is not a dog. No matter whose child. It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer.”  Look no further than Herkimer, New York, USA, to see the illegal taking of a child from his family.  On 4/24/19, Herkimer County sheriff’s deputies entered our home and took our two-year-old grandson Avram from his mother. They didn’t have a warrant. They didn’t have a valid court order. They said they had “verbal permission.” 

A Herkimer Kidnapping – In The Tradition of Schindler’s List

It  was kidnapping under the color of law. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. We’ve seen Herkimer Child Protection Workers violate state law as they go the extra mile to denounce parents and families they don’t approve of. And Herkimer long shrugged off poison gas attacks on us, our pets and our home. So why not, also in the tradition of Schindler’s List, an armed, uniformed squad taking a child from his bed? They even wore brown. What made it especially heinous was their acting for an out-of-state foreign national seemingly desperate to avoid paying child support. 

Even In Herkimer A Child Is Not A Dog

It requires more to lawfully take a child than it does a dog. Even in Herkimer. No matter how inconvenient. No matter whose child. New York’s Domestic Relations Law  governs the return of  a child to a parent in another state. It incorporates the provisions of the federal Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The law requires registration of an out-of-state custody order with the local family court, due notice and a hearing. Then the custody order can be legally enforced. It only takes a few days. Apparently too cumbersome for scofflaw Herkimer.

Herkimer Family Court Involvement?

The deputies said they had “verbal authorization” [Video, below: 1:56] from Judge John Brennan of the Herkimer Family Court to take our grandson. If so, Brennan played fast and loose with the law. New York’s family courts are notoriously packed and dysfunctional. Scooping up a kid without a warrant for an out-of-state return and whisking him to the waiting parent avoids further clogging the court calendar with the tedium of due process. Especially when the outcome appears predetermined. In an extrajudicial kidnapping like this–in legalese, “an illegal taking”– speed is of the essence: Not much a parent can do when the kid’s back in the other state. It seems a cynical practice encourage by long success. Had our daughter been known to have an attorney, and lived at a better Herkimer address, the law might have been followed.  

Anonymous Herkimer Sheriff's Officer during extrajudicial kidnapping
4/24/19 “We have verbal authority [to take the child.”] Intentionally anonymous Herkimer Sheriff’s officer during extrajudicial kidnapping. Refused repeated demands to identify himself. WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS? Herkimer, apparently.

“2:41: Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer.”

HERKIMER KIDNAPPING – VIDEO
A Herkimer Kidnapping

A Herkimer Kidnapping

Video Timeline 001-1:05 Herkimer County Sheriff’s deputies, accompanied by Herkimer police officer, arrive at our house. (Police here to protect deputies from us.)
1:06-1:14 I foolishly let them in without asking for a warrant or court order. I assumed they were acting lawfully. Never assume this in Herkimer County.
1:15-1:15 One deputy identifies himself as Sgt. George. The other merely says “Herkimer County Sheriff.” (He’s not the sheriff.)
1:20 – 1:55 Sgt. George reads the order to our daughter. It’s quickly apparent it’s a Michigan court order. George states it authorizes them to take our grandson for return to his father in Michigan. It doesn’t. I  object, citing New York law and the procedure necessary to lawfully execute an out-of-state custody order in New York. Sgt. George says they have verbal permission from Herkimer County Family Court to enforce the Michigan court order. I continue to dispute their authority. 2:41 – 2:54 Deputy(?) Nameless tells me to “go argue the order” with Herkimer County Family Court Judge John Brennan if I don’t like it. I point out that I can’t, it’s a Michigan court order. Judge Brennan is a New York judge. He has not issued an order in this matter. Nameless Deputy repeats that they have verbal authority from Judge Brennan to take our grandchild. Seems hostile.
3:14 – 3:20 “Where is the child?” they demand.
3:21 – 3:45 Little Avram taken. Nameless sheriff’s officer waves to unidentified woman in unmarked car down the street to approach closer. She hesitatingly does so.  May know we’d recently reported Herkimer CPS workers Sara Riente and Lisa Bates to NY authorities for malfeasance.
3:46 – 4:36 Avram passed to unidentified woman wearing unviewable badge driving unmarked car. 
4:37 – 4:56 Grandma gives kindly Herkimer Police Officer Holt clothes and shoes for shoeless Avram, who takes them to the sheriff’s deputies.
End: Unknown woman in unmarked car makes good her escape with our grandson. 

“Our grandson now lives in an upscale townhouse in an upscale college town with his Rhodes Scholar professor-‘father’. We fear for his safety.”

A Herkimer Kidnapping Finale

Gloating email later that evening from Mukherji to our daughter saying he was at a Herkimer motel and that Avram had been returned to him. He’s refused all attempts at contact by our daughter. Our grandson now lives in an upscale townhouse in an upscale college town with his Rhodes Scholar professor father. We fear for his safety. Why? Read on.

A Herkimer Kidnapping – Backstory

In late January 2018, our daughter escaped with our grandson from her allegedly abusive and neglectful husband, Somangshu Mukherji, an Indian national. As she attests in her custody case court filings, he’d allowed her no contact with us for years and kept her in almost complete social and physical isolation.  Mukherji’s a nontenured assistant professor of Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He’s not the child’s birth father. Our daughter alleges in her custody case filings that Mukherji signed Avram’s birth certificate to enhance his status with US Immigration. 

The trigger for our daughter’s flight to Herkimer was Mukherji’s announcing the three of them were going on a trip with him to Turkey, along with his equally abusive mother. The US State Department advises against travel to Turkey: “terrorism, kidnappings and arbitrary detentions.” Anything could happen, especially to a toddler. Sounded like it might be a one-way trip for the “son” our daughter alleges Somangshu calls “the little bastard.” Somangshu’s vigilance slipped for a moment and our daughter and grandchild bolted for here. Penniless, she took a cab across several states, paying with the Uber account Somangshu kept on her phone for his convenience. 

Somangshu Mukherji – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Somangshu Mukherji raiding
Somangshu Mukherji sneering at me as he trespasses on our porch.

Somangshu Mukherji’s Green Card and his well-paid professorship were made possible by his marriage to our severely bipolar American-born daughter.

And we took a hand, too, having earlier and foolishly helped him stay in the US. In 2003, we sponsored Mukherji after Harvard dropped their sponsorship of him as  grad student, alleging “academic dishonesty,” according to our daughter’s court filings. (Mukherji had earlier been a research assistant to Harvard evolutionary biologist Marc Hauser, who was found guilty of scientific misconduct and served a sentence on federal charges.)

At our daughter’s pleading, we posted a $40k bond for Mukherji with the U.S. Department of State so that he could remain in the US. (17% of our total assets at the time.)  Mukherji’s repaid us by allegedly exploiting and abusing our daughter, misusing his medical guardianship of her and denying our grandchild clothes, shoes and toys. “Never a dime,” alleges our daughter in her Ann Arbor MI Family Court custody defense filings. (Case 19-352-DC )

“Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.”

Somangshu Mukherji in Pursuit

Upon their arrival at our home, I texted Mukherji that his missing wife and her two-year old son were safe with us in Herkimer. No reply, but his feet must not have touched the ground as he raced to his attorney’s office to file for sole custody of the son he’d always allegedly neglected—the son of his wife and another man–and for the child’s immediate return to him in Ann Arbor. Doing the math he may have suddenly realized his love for the boy and wanted him back: child support would cost him over $1,000 a month.

After a long court battle in Ann Arbor, Somangshu Mukherji was awarded sole custody. (He had a lawyer, our daughter didn’t. Ann Arbor Legal Aid, which is partially supported by U. Mich Law School, wouldn’t represent her.) My summary of his lengthy case and filings: Professor Mukherji argued that his wife was psychotic and a threat to his son. He offered as proof of her insanity the fact that she had left him.

Here’s our daughter’s Michigan court filings in the case. It’s the sad and probably all too common tale of how an unscrupulous foreign national can exploit a mentally ill American to jump the Green Card queue and secure a good job.  And then escaped unscathed by taking advantage of America’s patchwork of child custody laws and fragmented family court structure. 

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Somangshu Mukherji Schmoozes the Sheriff

Mukherji apparently established a cordial relationship with Herkimer  County Sheriff’s personnel during his 4/11/19 trip to Herkimer, likely through then Herkimer Undersheriff Scott Scherer. His Michigan court approved visitation of that date seemed to me a transparent attempt to nab our grandson on the cheap. He may have convinced the sheriff’s staff that his “son” was in grave danger from the psychotic mother, loony grandmother and pedophile grandfather. (From his slanderous Child Protection reports, since dismissed.)  The day before the kidnapping, Mukherji won sole custody of Avram in an Ann Arbor court.  Victorious at last, he immediately flew to Herkimer to take possession.

Michigan court order in hand, Somangshu was but one step from obtaining a lawful custody order, one issued by a New York court, which the Herkimer county sheriff could legally enforce. He needed only to register his Michigan order with the Herkimer Family Court, which could, after a hearing for all parties, issue a New York order mandating the return of the child to Michigan, all  required by New York law. Of course, it would have cost Mukherji more money. Instead, Herkimer County cut him a break him by skipping past New York law and sending its deputies right over to take Avram from his nap. I’ve known Somangshu since 2003–he can be very charming when he wants something.

Preventing A Herkimer Kidnapping: “Get A Warrant”

I suspect the  Herkimer Family Court and the Herkimer County Sheriff get away with this all the time, possibly by saying that the parent voluntarily consented to accept service of the out-of-state custody order. As the video of this illegal taking shows, our daughter did not do that. The Herkimer sheriff’s officers presented her with the Michigan court order, which without a New York order had all the validity of a Post-It-Note. I contested their authority and cited the UCCJEA and applicable New York law. They didn’t care. Told me to “get a lawyer.” [video-2:41] “We will now take the child” said they. And they did.l This extrajudicial kidnapping spared Professor Mukherji the bother and expense of obtaining a legal New York custody order.

What country is this?

Avram Mukherji's first toys everReporting Malfeasance by New York Public Officers 

New York Attorney General, Bureau of Public Integrity

Reporting Civil Rights Violations in New York

New York Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
125 Broad St., 19th Fl.
New York,  NY 10004.
Telephone: 212-607-3300

“Unlawful discrimination that reflects a policy or practice of discrimination:”
The Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office

Is a judge involved? Allegedly involved?

New York – Reporting Judicial Misconduct

New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct Corning Tower, Suite 2301 Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12223 If you videoed the incident, as we did in A Herkimer Kidnapping, either upload it to the agencies or send it in with your complaint on a thumb-drive.  Publish it on social media. It’s New York.  It’s your right. Use it or lose it.

How to Report Immigration Marriage Fraud

Fire Watch of 6.4-5 – They Figured It Out

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by Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer Fire Watch, 6.4-5. Our continuing coverage of the dangerous ongoing antics of the fire bugs next door: 332 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer, a Jay Smith property. We’re a tinder-dry, flammable village along the Mohawk. We’ve had 3 deaths this year from a nighttime house fire, some very young kids perished.  Open fires within 100 feet of anything are illegal. Have been for years. Some folks don’t care. We do. Others do. The police and fire departments certainly do.

Herkimer Fire Performance of 6.4-5

Tonight’s performance was brief with fewer players than previously. All of these guys either live at or are associated with 332 Pleasant Avenue, the house to the left. It’s owned by, did I say? Herkimer landlord Jay Smith.
Police responded promptly and the fire was extinguished.

The shirtless Kyle from 332 Pleasant was as usual the chief performer. At minute 0:45, someone points out the unconcealed camera to him. They at last figured it out. It’s been there for months, as have the lights. Kyle reacts and everyone files by into the house, low-hanging fruit for video recognition software. 

Herkimer gang member showers security camera
6.5.17 332 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer fire bug Kyle showers security camera with love

Why do you move next door to a house with 25 cameras and a very active crime blog, unless of course, you want media coverage?

A tip of the hat to the Herkimer police for a quick response and to Herkimer County 911. We await the next performance. 

Herkimer Fire Watch of 6-2-19 [UPDATED 6.4 – VIDEO VIEWABLE]

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6.4.19  Update: The YouTube video is now viewable on the post.

by Stephen Ames Berry

Our Herkimer fire watch of 6.2.19 saw yet another in the spate of dangerous and illegal fires behind landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. Scofflaw tenants from all three Smith properties abutting Herkimer’s historic child trafficking lot participated, frolicking from 9 pm to midnight, just before Herkimer police arrived. It was obvious they’d been alerted that police were on the way. Following a phone call to one of them, the flames were quickly doused and most of the fire bugs scuttled into 332 Pleasant Avenue.

When the officer arrived a moment later, there were only two people fireside, watching a few dying flames. I doubt he was fooled—there was a lot of smoke still in the air.

Minute
1:05/3:05 334 Pleasant resident heaps household trash on fire.
3:30 Sparks fly. Happily a windless night and the ground damp.
3:39 Red and black jacket guy gets phone warning. Assume he had a friend monitoring the police channel. Fire doused by 332’s life-of-the-party Kyle.
4:01 All but the two fireside go into 332 Pleasant. Male voice overheard making unambiguous death threat about burning up two old people. All potential suspects captured on camera as they parade by. (They remind me of my old high school Behavior Boy class in Sarasota.)
5:05 Officer arrives. Not much to see. Quickly leaves.

Herkimer is highly flammable. We’ve already had 3 deaths by fire this year. This ongoing depraved indifference only makes it likely to happen again.

Sykes Gang Swarms – Police Respond

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by Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer gang head Stanley Sykes
Stanley Sykes in full cry.

Sykes’ gang head Stanley Sykes returned briefly to his old Herkimer drug and child trafficking lair this week. It was seemingly for a harmless picnic and a cheery fire with his gang members at 341 Eureka Avenue—341 anchors one end of Herkimer’s historic drug and child trafficking lot the Sykes gang used to control. They don’t appear to be trafficking out 341 anymore—some are barracked there, courtesy of the gang’s longtime landlord, Herkimer’s Jay Smith.

The Heinous Stanley Sykes Gang

The Sykes gang’s heinous, not harmless: they traffic drugs and kids and coordinate poison gas spraying campaigns against neighbors they want gone and whose houses they covet. We’ve overheard them pimping out their own kids. Stanley’s been gone a year, relocating after being highlighted in our widely-viewed Herkimer child trafficking series.

Sykes gang member Utica
5/26/19 Sykes gang member. probably from Utica, at 332 Pleasant Avenue fire circle. Not happy about our surveillance camera.

The gang’s Wednesday social event was a venue to harass us and assert dominance over the tenants in the lot’s other two houses, 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue. The gang appears to now only fully control 341 Eureka Avenue. 

Herkimer Sykes gang member Harvey Bass with vandalized fence slat.
Junior Sykes gang member Harvey triumphantly waves kindling stick harvested from our fence. His grandfather Stanley’s red Honda SUV is to his right.

The Sykes gang took over 332 Pleasant Avenue’s massive beloved fire bowl for the occasion and gathered kindling from behind 334 Pleasant. No one was going to deny them permission. They had two of their weaponized kids vandalize our fence on camera as Stanley Sykes serenaded us with the mighty horn of his signature red Honda SUV, parked as close to our yard as he could get without knocking down our fence.

Stanley himself left just after sunset, leaving some of his crew that had come with him gathered about the fire bowl with a mix of gang and non-gang locals.

Then the police came. A lot of them:

Herkimer police respond to gang presence
5/26/19 Herkimer and State Police respond to gang presence at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue.

 

Video Timeline:
0:01-0:10 Stanley Sykes arrives at 341 Eureka Ave.
0:11-0:38 Carrie Ann Bass’s son Harvey, Stanley’s grandson (long hair), and Stanley’s putative son Eric harvest our fence for kindling.
0:39-0:54 Harvey gleefully waves his trophy for all to see.
0:55-1:09 Stanley contributes to fire. Seems jubilant.
0:10-1:35 Gang members frolic as they build fire at 332 Pleasant.
1:36 -1:43 Stanley Sykes leaves. (Possibly relocated back to Utica where from which he now operates.)
1:44-2:00 Mix of gang and non-gang members at fire behind 332 Pleasant.
2:01-2:12 Herkimer police officer seemingly warning that open fires are illegal in Herkimer. We are a small, close-set and highly-flammable village. Typically, violators are required to bank and their douse fire.
2:13-2:24 Same officer, different cameras.
2:32-2:43 Officer gone. Did someone say something they weren’t supposed to?
2:44-258 Lots of cops have appeared. Questions being asked. Seems to be a person of interest.
2:59-3:09 Police leave via 341 Eureka
3:10-3:35 Police return. Arrest made.
3:54-End Midnight debriefing among locals at 332 Pleasant Avenue.

 

Herkimer Village Highly Flammable

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by Stephen Ames Berry

A reminder as we enter nicer weather – Herkimer Village is highly flammable.

Some of Herkimer landlord Jay Smith’s tenants hosted this event the night of 5/17-5/18. It’s behind 332 Pleasant Avenue. 332’s one of the three anchor properties surrounding Herkimer’s historic drug and child trafficking lot. All are Smith’s properties.

Things began reasonably enough in the early evening. But as the hours wore on, the crowd grew, the music soared, the booze flowed and the sparks flew high. To be fair to the folks who live at 332, they got the lot of them to kill the music, then took their kids in. Most places that would have signaled the end of the evening. But no. People I recognized were soon outnumbered by people I didn’t, and still they came.

What began with five or so folks with some kids grew to more than dozen adults, gathered about a blazing fire bowl the size of the mother ship. Sparks soared high. The police appeared shortly after 1 am, shut down the festivities and ordered the fire doused. (A large federal surveillance drone was also in attendance.)

332 Pleasant Ave Herkimer gang members flee cops
5/18/19 “The guilty flee where no man pursues.” Party goers skedaddle as Herkimer police approach. (Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer.)

Jay Smith's 332 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer police shut down fire5/18/19 “Herkimer police shut down the festivities and ordered the fire doused.” The crowd is much smaller than it was a few seconds ago.

Herkimer Village A Tinderbox

Herkimer Village is a tinderbox of close-set very old houses. In January, we were all tragically reminded of how  deadly this can be when three small children died in a fast moving house fire just a few blocks away.

3 children killed in Herkimer fire
1/11/19 Three small children died in a fast-moving Herkimer blaze.

Herkimer does not allow open fires of any sort within 100 feet of any house, vehicle or structure. Period. (A grill is not a cover—it’s a grill.) The Herkimer police these days are quick to respond to reports of open fires and large crowds. Call them. The neighbor’s being ticked at you is better than you and yours going up in flames.

Herkimer Fire Law,  Section 1-14(B)

Camp fires and fires used solely for recreation purposes [are permitted[ when such fires are located at least one hundred (100) feet from any dwelling, structure, or vehicle and are properly controlled and supervised by the Herkimer Fire Department.