Herkimer Gangs Fade, Danger Remains: The Crippen-Carpenter Effect

Visits: 119

Stephen Ames Berry

The Crippen-Carpenter Effect: an unwitting dark synergy of nonfeasance and malfeasance…

2023 saw Herkimer’s long-entrenched drug and child trafficking gangs fade away. Gang-central Pleasant Avenue has rejoined civilization. It’s a delight after ten years of menacing, assaults and hundreds of poison gas attacks to bask in the silence along Pleasant Avenue and to chat with decent new neighbors.

Still with us, though, and clouding Herkimer’s future, are two complementary pillars of enduring rot that continue to make us all unsafe: District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter and Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen. 

Carpenter’s unblushing sweetheart plea bargains and Crippen’s sneering suppression of citizen complaints and false incident reporting form the Crippen-Carpenter Effect: an unwitting dark synergy of nonfeasance and malfeasance, creating a dangerous community in which the law is flouted, criminals go free and people Aren’t safe. If Crippen can’t put the shutup on your complaint, Carpenter can arrange a cheap plea deal. Between the two of them, Herkimer’s gangs were for years assured a steady supply of jail-free workers while the rest of us took our chances.

The good news for the Herkimer police is that they no longer have to blatantly ignore wholesale trafficking out of obvious long-time gang hubs. Nor do they have to scramble to avoid taking evidence-based complaints: the gangbangers are gone. 

End of the Trail

8.3.23 Brooding Herkimer gangbanger moves out of long time drug and child trafficking central 328 Pleasant Avenue. It and two adjacent properties long barracked active drug and child traffickers. It was Herkimer's Historic Chiuld Trafficking Hub.
8.3.23 Brooding Herkimer gangbanger moves out of long-time drug and child trafficking central at 328 Pleasant Avenue. It and two adjacent properties long sheltered active drug and child traffickers. It was Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub.

Gangs need poverty to flourish. The Rust Belt’s long hardscrabble existence is ending as a rising tide of prosperity sweeps the region. It’s eliminated the Section 8 housing that used to barrack Herkimer’s drug and child trafficking gangs. As property values continue to rise, owners are rehabbing houses and either selling them or renting them to newcomers, many of them driven by climate change, flock to climate-safe Central and Upstate New York. Google Guide Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Herkimer area have drawn 15 million views via Google Maps. 

Climate Migration Banishes Gangs

Stepped-up regional and federal law enforcement has helped convince traffickers to move on; a flotilla of federal surveillance drones often fills our night sky. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being invested in chip fabrication facilities spanning the Mohawk Valley on into Syracuse. Rust Belt gangs won’t be allowed to threaten what’s becoming the heart of America’s and the Rust Belt’s economic rebirth.

And yet…

Officer Jason Crippen – The Sorry Saga Continues

It’s disappointing to see Jason Crippen still on the Herkimer Police, patrolling with impunity despite the many recently revealed and substantiated complaints against him. Crippen’s continued wearing of a badge reflects a decision by Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory to prioritize the protection of his officers over that of the community. Unfortunately, it’s a very common decision.

Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory in 2017. Don't be fooled by his "Aw, shucks, I'm just a simple country boy" shtick. He's sharp and perceptive.
Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory in 2017. Don’t be fooled by his “Aw, shucks, I’m just a simple country boy” shtick. He’s sharp and perceptive.

Says police oversight specialist, Professor Daniel Bodah of  John Jay College of Criminal Justice: “It’s important for the police and the general public that (discipline) records are open. Departments opposed to making police disciplinary records public are possibly looking to shield officers and themselves from potential embarrassment. It’s a desire to not hurt the person, not a desire to have honest policing.” 

Certainly, the Herkimer Police Department has a lot to be embarrassed about, which we saw when three years of litigation finally compelled the release of the village’s police discipline records. The files reflected with the Utica Observer charitably called “substandard [police] performance” over many years.

Crippen tased a suspected shoplifter he knew to be pregnant. Left his service pistol lying about in a public area. Allegedly filed a false police report to revenge himself on a citizen who chastised him for driving recklessly. Why does a public embarrassment like Crippen enjoy continued protection as he imperils the community? Does he know where the bodies are buried? The money laundered?

Complaints Against Officer Jason Crippen

6.16.22 Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen trying to intimidate Herkmer Post's Stephen Ames Berry under the color of law.
6.16.22 Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen trying to intimidate Herkimer Post’s Stephen Ames Berry under the color of law.

Here are the publicly known complaints filed against Crippen, most only recently released after a three-year Freedom of Information lawsuit by Gannett/USA Today against the Herkimer Police and its brazen  flouting of New York law:

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There’s a suspiciously long gap in reported incidents between 2019 and 2022. Perhaps Crippen did nothing worthy of a complaint in those three years? The Herkimer PD didn’t release my complaints, filed before the suit was settled. Perhaps other incidents are being kept hidden?

The Crippen-Carpenter Effect: A Case Study

Here’s an example of the Crippen-Carpenter effect: On 9/30/22, I was attacked by neighboring drug thug Jordan Bormann and left unconscious on the sidewalk with a life-altering traumatic brain injury. Crippen, despite his history with me, was appointed the incident’s investigating officer. (With its annual budget of $1.45 million, the Herkimer Police Department supports a chief, a captain, an investigator and a squad of sergeants, led by a first sergeant.)

Kim Vargas' son Jordan Bormann assaults elderly neighbor in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. Officer Jason Crippen investigation, found elderly neighbor guilty of the assault. Reinvestigation based on victim's survei9llance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony.
Kim Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann assaulted me in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. I blogged about their alleged drug trafficking. Officer Jason Crippen’s investigation stated I was responsible for my own assault. Reinvestigation based on my surveillance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony and Crippen’s report given the lie.

Crippen has a history of using allegedly false reporting to revenge himself on complaining citizens. This was another instance. In his incident report, Crippen stated that Bormann was defending his mother from me. He reported the incident as harassment on my part. In the week it took for me to write up a complaint and prepare the video device, Crippen avoided asking for video evidence of the incident from our security cameras, which he knew covered the scene of the attack and which outed his investigation as yet another falsity.

I presented the undeniable video evidence of Bormann’s guilt to the Herkimer PD, which arrested him and correctly charged him with violent felony assault on an elder, which carries mandatory jail time.

District Attorney Carpenter Parrots Crippen’s False Incident Report

No one from the District Attorney’s well-staffed, well-paid office appeared at Bormann’s arraignment. Instead, DA Carpenter later offered Bormann a plea deal of $100 fine for misdemeanor assault and two years probation. Bormann unsurprisingly accepted. The plea bargaining process is murky. Money could easily change hands and no one would know.

Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter. His Sweetheart Plea Bargains Help Keep Violent Criminals On The Streets
Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey S. Carpenter. His Sweetheart Plea Bargains Help Keep Violent Criminals On The Streets

No Time for Trials: $554,425 – 2023 Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter and Four Assistant DAs’ Salaries

Not Shabby: 2023 Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter and Assistantt DAs' salaries. (From the 2023 Herkimer County Budget)
Not Shabby: 2023 Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter and Assistant DAs’ salaries. (From the 2023 Herkimer County Budget)

The young thug never spent a moment in jail. I’m still recovering from my traumatic brain injury. (My walking’s advanced to an enhanced Parkinson’s shuffle.)

“If Carpenter forgot about the evidence he had, he was nonfeasant. If he knowingly didn’t cite the evidence, he’s malfeasant–no wiggle room.

Insult to injury, DA Carpenter, ignoring the video evidence on which he based Bormann’s felony assault charge, parroted Crippen’s bogus and disproven investigation report to the NY Attorney General’s Victims Services unit. I was denied full compensation for medical copays as “the instigator.” I’ve appealed. If Carpenter forgot about the evidence he had, he was nonfeasant. If he knowingly didn’t cite the evidence, he’s malfeasant–no wiggle room.

It’s been almost a  year and my appeal for reimbursement is still pending at Victims Services. Expectant mom-tasing Crippen still patrols Herkimer. Carpenter, who earns $200k a year and has four assistant DAs, will probably be running for reelection in 2024, based on his 16 years of protecting and serving Herkimer.

12.6.23 Herkimer Officer Jason Crippen, Co-Receiving Charitable Christmas Donation. Note his expectant-mom taser (yellow), ready for fast cross draw, and the Glock pistol he leaves lying around in public. (See his discipline record.)
12.6.23 A relaxed and confident Officer Jason Crippen as a jolly elf, co-receiving a charitable Christmas donation. Note his expectant-mom taser (yellow), ready for fast cross draw, and the Glock pistol he left lying around in public. (See his discipline record.)

“As long as their chief protects his rogue officers from scrutiny, rather than protecting the public by firing them, the community is not safe. 

Herkimer Police Chief Mike Jory has done a lot of good things. Most recently he’s promoted some of his best line officers to positions of authority and brought mental health professionals on board to help decriminalize mental illness.  He’s turned the Herkimer PD’s Facebook page into a Happy Hour of good news.

Herkimer Cops Aren’t the Baddies

This is our tenth year in Herkimer, using social media to out criminals who wanted us gone. We’ve worked with a lot of the Herkimer cops–the great majority of them are dedicated professionals, good people in a bad system. It must be very frustrating to see so many of your solid busts subverted by sweetheart plea bargaining that puts bad actors back on the street. That won’t change as long as  Herkimer’s chief law enforcement officer is the criminal-coddling king of low-ball plea bargains.

Why no Herkimer County DA attorneys are available to represent victims at arraignments. (Even when you reach the secret plea deal number, expect a delay.)
Why no Herkimer County DA attorneys are available to represent victims at arraignments. (Even when you reach the secret plea deal number, expect a delay.)

Carpenter’s old boss, former Herkimer County DA and retired New York Supreme Court Judge Bill Daley, ran against Carpenter for DA in 2016. He says of Carpenter’s criminal coddling:

Every felony is plea bargained and violent criminals put back in our community. There is a statute in place and that must be followed. When you plea bargain every single case, that tells me the offers are so low that the defendant has to take them.  When you’re offering such sweetheart deals that the defendants can’t turn them down, you end up with no trials.

Carpenter’s Instrument of Betrayal: Charge of Violent Felony on an Elder, with Mandatory Prison Time, Becomes a $100 Misdemeanor

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Case Study: People v. Jordan Bormann. How DA Carpenter Betrays the Public Trust

Eager to see how DA Carpenter magically transformed a violent felony into a misdemeanor, I researched my own case. It’s not for the faint of heart. Carpenter’s contempt for the community he’s charged to protect is on full display:

Open Season on Herkimer Elders As District Attorney Carpenter Waves His Magic Wand

Was Your Complaint to the Herkimer Police Not Made Public? Tell USA Today’s Police Discipline Records Team

New York law makes all police complaints, not just the unsubstantiated ones, open to public access. If you’ve filed a written complaint about a police officer, you’re entitled upon request to that information, no matter the disposition of that complaint. If you filed a complaint about a Herkimer police officer and it wasn’t released in response to the USA Today suit, tell USA Today’s Police Discipline Records Team. Here’s the link: https://shorturl.at/ty459

Public access to police discipline records in New York is now down to a department-by-department trench fight. Time, resources and the law are on the side of the public. Don’t be deterred.

“The window is fast closing on our chance to put our own house in order before heavy hammers fall. And it won’t be pretty.

Making Herkimer Safe Again

The only way for Herkimer to ever be truly safe again is to replace District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter with a chief law enforcement officer of proven worth and integrity. Someone who’ll enforce the statutes passed to protect us, not cut backroom deals and put violent criminals back on the streets. Someone who doesn’t flout the law but ensures its observance.  Someone who’ll prosecute bad cops, not parrot them.

Jason Crippen so needs to go, before he does even more and greater harm to the people of Herkimer. If Chief Jory won’t or can’t get rid of him and run a clean shop, then Jory needs to retire. Climate migration is sending a lot of people and new industries our way. They won’t tolerate the cozy corruption of old boy-run Rust Belt towns like Herkimer. This region is vital to the future of America.

A lot of eyes are on us–look up, count the surveillance drones. Too much is at stake here in an increasingly perilous world. The window is fast closing on our chance to put our own house in order before the heavy hammers fall. And it won’t be pretty.

Open Season on Herkimer Elders As District Attorney Carpenter Waves His Magic Wand

Visits: 543

Stephen Ames Berry

In March, with a wave of his magic plea bargaining wand, Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter signaled open season on Herkimer elders. 

Ignoring a tough new law written to protect the elderly from violence, Carpenter offered a sweetheart plea deal to a 21-year-old thug who violently attacked a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher. The thug was fined $100 and went home on probation. The vicious assault, captured on two cameras, left the victim unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk with a traumatic brain injury, from which he still suffers. 

The message to Herkimer’s criminals? It’s ok to beat up the old folks–Jeff Carpenter’s got your back.  No jail, no bail, a chump-change fine. Enjoy!

Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter, the People's Attorney.
Herkimer DA Jeffrey Carpenter, the People’s Attorney.

Here’s how Carpenter flouted a tough New York law written to protect elders, putting a vicious criminal back on the street. It’s the same technique he’s long used to make Herkimer unsafe.

On 9/30/22, I was assaulted by Jordan Bormann, the 21-year-old son of our neighboring drug thug family. I was videoing harassment of my wife. The hefty young Bormann left me out cold and bleeding on the sidewalk with a deep brain bleed. Then kicked me as I lay unconscious. Medevaced to Albany Medical, I was treated for a subdural hematoma. If he’d shoved me a little harder or kicked me in the head, he could have killed me.

Here’s one of two videos of the attack given to Herkimer PD, as captured on two of our 22 security cameras: 

The Herkimer Police first tried to ignore the incident, aided by the bogus report of the responding officer, Jason Crippen, who wrote Bormann’s attack up as harassment–by me. (I’d previously reported Crippen for a rich history of alleged malfeasance.)

Alas for the coverup! I made it home alive and filed a video-based complaint. Which the Herkimer PD was compelled to act on–the clips from our security cameras left them no wiggle room.  Jordan Bormann was arrested and properly charged under New York Penal Law 120.05(12), Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D Violent Felony: 

…when with intent to cause physical injury to a person who is sixty-five years of age or older, he or she causes such injury to such person, and the actor is more than ten years younger than such person…

Effective in 2019 and cosponsored by Herkimer State Senator James Seward, the law recognizes the “uniquely depraved and heinous nature of attacks on the vulnerable elderly.” It carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison, with a minimum required sentence of 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Two brief court appearances later, Bormann was back on the street and home free. For this we have our District Attorney, Jeffrey Carpenter to thank.

People v. Jordan Bormann– Illustrated

 Herkimer's 21 year old Jordan Borman stars as Nasty Green Dragon Cited With Felony Assault of 74 year old neighbor gets 0 jail time in a Herkimer County court. Thanks Jeffery Carpenter DA!Jordan Bormann savagely attacks his elderly neighbor…DA Carpenter waves his magic wand

…transforming Bormann into a free man.

Legal Process Just As Brief and Cartoonish

Jordan Bormann’s Arraignment 10/19/22

Absent was my advocate, the People’s Attorney, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter. Or anyone from his office, 7 miles away.

Based on my complaint and accompanying video of the attack, Bormann was arrested on 10/19/22 and arraigned that day for felony assault before Judge Joshua P. Bannister in Little Falls City Court. Banister is a practicing attorney and a fairly new part-time jurist. Present in the court were Judge Bannister, the court clerk, and Jordan Bormann. Bormann was represented by his court-appointed attorney, Joesph Macri, Esq., of Herkimer, appearing online.

Absent was my advocate, the People’s Attorney, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter. Or any of his four assistant DAs, from their office, 7 miles away. LIke Macri, they could have appeared on-line. 

Jeffrey Carpenter makes over $200,000 a year. His ADAs are also very well-paid. Obviously Carpenter didn’t want the young elder basher in jail and had no intention of bringing the matter to trial.

Judge Bannister several times expressed his opinion that the bail request of $2,500  was “a little light”(p.10) for a violent felony assault on an elder.

But DA Carpenter did send in a bail request. Even with bail reform, New York law still permits bail or jail in violent felony cases. Judge Bannister several times expressed his opinion that Carpenter’s bail request of $2,500 was “a little light” for a violent felony assault on an elder. (arraignment transcript, p.10, below) Had DA Carpenter been there, he might have argued in support of his bail request. But he wasn’t.

Bormann’s attorney argued for his client’s release pending trial. Bormann, obviously well-prepped, offered a litany of lies in reply to Judge Bannister’s questions:

Bormann’s only relationship to teaching  is attacking a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher, sending him to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

Jordan Bormann’s Well-Rehearsed Litany of Lies
1. Bormann told the Court that he wanted to be a teacher and was an online education student in early childhood development at Utica College. (transcript, p.5). He said that it was his third year at that school. 
Utica College became Utica University 8 months previously, in February of 2022. It doesn’t offer an online early childhood development program or any degree in education. 

Bormann’s only relationship to teaching is attacking a 74-year-old retired Special Needs teacher, sending him to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

2. Bormann said he lives with his parents and three siblings, ages 20, 16 and 13. (p.6)
We lived next door to Bormann for three long years. Other than Bormann, the only child of the family there was his younger brother, about 13. Bormann’s parents are long separated; his father hasn’t lived there for several years. His mother’s Facebook page lists her marital status as “separated.”)

3. Bormann said his mother, Kimberly Bormann Vargas, is looking for work. She appears to work as a drug dealer, operating out of the long-time officially ignored retail drug trafficking property they lived in.

4. Bormann said he works at Lowes, about 20 hours a week. He may since he and his family moved on 1/8/23, but in the years he lived next door, he appeared to be a leisurely part of his mother’s alleged drug business. This is him in my drug house post photo.  Mostly he hung out on the porch with his friends, rarely rising before early afternoon. 

Herkimer's Jordan Bormann, the day he violently assaulted his 74 year-old neighbor.
Herkimer’s camera-shy Jordan Bormann, the day he violently assaulted his 74-year-old neighbor.

DA Carpenter’s Nonappearance Assures Bormann’s Release

With DA Carpenter a no-show, Judge Bannister released Bormann without bail, setting him free with only a monitoring bracelet from the Probation Department and a Protection Order directing him to stay clear of me. (p.11)

Carpenter’s absence gave Bormann and his attorney free rein to argue unopposed for the dangerous and volatile Bormann’s release, and without cost to him:
Bormann had never been arrested before. (Not unusual, given Herkimer’s habitual tolerance of crimes situated at entrenched trafficking properties.) (p.10):

Bormann’s family was poor–bail would be a financial hardship. (p.8)
Bormann was both working and working toward a degree. (p.5)
Bormann has ties to the community. (p.7)

Jordan Bormann Felony Assault Arraignment Transcript 10/19/22

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A trial date of 4/19/23 in county court was assigned. Felonies are tried only in the county court.

Bormann told the judge he was concerned that I’d use the Protection Order to try to entrap him into a probation violation, falsely stating that my wife and I were always hanging in front of his house (which happens to abut his porch and is impossible to avoid if we walk from our driveway to the public sidewalk). Bormann’s attorney told him to call the District Attorney or the Herkimer Police if I “maliciously used” the protection order. (p.12-13)

 Jordan Bormann was given first-class treatment, his bail-free release eased by the absence of District Attorney Carpenter. The Herkimer PD gave him a ride home from the Probation Department, a 1/2 mile away.

Later that same morning, Officer Jason Crippen appeared at our door and handed me a copy of the Protection Order, shook my hand, and left. An hour later, Bormann and his mother were enjoying takeout on their front porch, across the driveway from our living room window.

Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas

Jordan Bormann’s mother, Kimberly Bormann Vargas. (No, not a caricature.) Jordan Bormann, left rear.

Only later did I discover Crippen’s malicious role in support of my attacker, intentionally not requesting videos of the attack and blaming me for instigating it. Through DA Carpenter, this bogus report would later further deprive me of the protection of law.

Bormann’s 10/22/22 Protection Order–Note the Charge is Class D Violent Felony, Assault on Elder

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I settled down to slowly heal, buffeted by headaches, dizziness, and hypersomnia from the attack. All of which I put in my victim statement for the court, and submitted to DA Carpenter’s office, along with photos of my injury and the pool of my blood I was left lying unconscious in. 

Bormann;s unconscious victim bled profusely.

Jordan Bormann’s unconscious victim bled profusely.

Herkimer's Jordan Bormann's handwork.

Bormann’s handiwork required much stapling.

While awaiting Bormann’s April felony hearing in county court, I had the pleasure of watching him over the next five months, 15 yards away on his front porch, smoking smelly stuff, enjoying more takeout and hanging with his friends. 

New Protection Order Reveals DA Carpenter’s Magic Wand At Work

On 3/17/22, I was stunned to receive a fresh one-year-only protection order from the Little Falls City Court. There would be no felony trial.  District Attorney Carpenter had waved his magic wand, downgrading Bormann’s felony charge to a misdemeanor. It was over.

Rather than being tried under law for felony assault on an elder with serious injury, which carries a mandatory prison sentence, basher Bormann copped to a 3rd-degree misdemeanor assault charge. It’s an appropriate charge for a barroom brawl with minor injury.

Bormann’s 3/16/23 Protection Order–for Misdemeanor Assault

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Slam, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am: Jordan Bormann’s Sentencing

Here’s the transcript from Bormann’s 3/16/23 sentencing hearing before Little Falls City Court Judge Sarah M. Brinski. Brinski is a part-time judge with a full-time law practice. District Attorney Carpenter was present. I wasn’t–his office had said they’d let me know if the original trial date and place changed. They didn’t.

Although a misdemeanor assault can carry a one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine, Carpenter had proposed a sentence of two years probation and a $100.00 fine, which Judge Brinski approved.

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Did the Court ever see my victim impact statement, forwarded to DA Carpenter at his request? A judge can reject a plea bargain agreement and send it for trial on the original charge. 

Bravo Zulu! High-Five All Around for District Attorney Carpenter’s Office

The ever-surly Bormann seemed to feel he’d suffered enough.

At their request, I gave copies of my unreimbursed medical expenses to Carpenter’s staff. I was told the DA would seek a money judgment for restitution. Not true: the sentencing transcript revealed that I am responsible for requesting a separate hearing seeking reimbursement from my attacker, at which Bormann would be present. Neither he nor I liked that. The ever-surly Bormann seemed to feel he’d suffered enough.

I was also told by the DA Carpenter’s victims services coordinator that she’d forward a copy of my medical statements to New York’s Victim Services for payment. That never happened. Nor did it for my wife and co-blogger Linda, when she was beaten in the street by a different drug gang member.  (Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers hate us and our tell-all blog.) 

A few months after his sentencing, Bormann’s mother secured a mortgage and the family moved to a new home. (Perhaps the Cartel has a credit union for its franchisees?)

The federal surveillance drones that hovered over their part of Pleasant Avenue are gone, hopefully taking up station above the new Bormann-Vargas home, God help their neighbors. After decades of gang occupation, quiet has returned to Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.

Carpenter never intended to prosecute the case. He was always going to plea bargain it, no matter how heinous the assault. Young thug Jordan Bormann was always destined to fly free.

The Outrage Continues: DA Carpenter and Dodgy Herkimer Cop Jason Crippen

Jason Crippen, Herkimer's Dog Enticement Officer
Jason Crippen, Herkimer’s Dog Enticement Officer

A few weeks before Bormann received his get-out-of-jail-free card from DA Carpenter, New York’s Office of Victim’s Services (OVS) advised me that Carpenter had told them I was partially responsible for Bormann’s attacking me.  I would be penalized 25% of any medical expense reimbursement

Jason Crippen’s Bogus Incident Report, Lovingly Annotated By Me:

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Crippen’s discipline record, recently made public after a three-year lawsuit against the Herkimer Police by USA Today, is chilling: tasing an expectant mom who told him she was pregnant; alleged false police report filed against a civilian who called him out for acting illegally; leaving his loaded service weapon lying about in a public area; alleged intimidation under the color of law in support of a much respected Herkimer drug dealer. 

As for District Attorney  Carpenter’s mindless parroting of Crippen’s disproven report, its just another  example of the unconcern and indifference Carpenter displayed throughout this case. Surely his initial felony charge against Bormann was based on my irrefutable video evidence showing Bormann’s unprovoked attack on me?  Why then did he just regurgitate Crippen’s bogus report? Or did he never even look at the evidence?

The only plausible explanation? I believe Carpenter never intended to prosecute the case. He had no need to look at the evidence. He always intended to plea bargain it. If I’d been killed, would he have looked at it, or just accepted Crippen’s report and moved on, just another oldster dead by misadventure? Not prosecuting felonies is what Carpenter does, says his old boss. As a Herkimer criminal, young thug Jordan Bormann was always destined to fly free.

Carpenter’s Old Boss, Judge Michael Daley, Calls Him Out

Carpenter’s old boss, former Herkimer County District Attorney and retired Supreme Court Judge Michael Daley, says sweetheart deals are the norm for Carpenter: 

“Every felony is plea bargained and violent criminals put back in our community. There is a statute in place and that must be followed. When you plea bargain every single case, what that tells me is that the offers are so low that the defendant has to take them.  When you’re offering such sweetheart deals that the defendants can’t turn them down, you end up with no trials.”

Judge Michael Daily

Daley ran for District Attorney against Carpenter in 2016, campaigning under the slogan “Make Herkimer Safe Again.” Carpenter, as he does, toadholed throughout the election. The Republican Party ole boy network had his back, refusing to set up a debate between the two candidates, according to Daley, leaving Carpetner’s assertions of his history of felony convictions unchallenged.

Carpenter had more lawn signs than Daley. Carpenter won. It wasn’t even close. Carpenter ran unopposed in 2020. As folks here say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”

Que Bono? Who Profits from Jeffrey Carpenter’s Sweetheart Deals with Criminals? Herkimer’s Gangs

Plea bargaining’s a hidden process. Only the outcome is public. we’re forced to rely upon the presumed integrity of the negotiators, as attorneys and officers of the court.  If money changes hands to sweeten the deal, we’d never know.

Carpenter’s freewheeling use of Prosecutorial discretion to flout New York law, aided by bail reform, helped make Herkimer a welcoming criminal haven. Well-staffed trafficking gangs, operated with impunity out of police-safe properties, terrorizing the law-abiding and dominating streets. Herkimer police, whose chiefs report to Carpenter, were and still are reluctant to register complaints. Bloggers, the last bastion of genuine journalism in Herkimer, justly fear for their lives. In our 9 years in Herkimer, we’ve been harassed, vandalized, beaten in the street, and much poisoned. 

Thanks to climate change, Herkimer is an area in transition. Whatever recent improvements we’re seeing as the swamp drains of criminals aren’t due to DA Carpetner’s kindnesses to the worst among us, but to increased Federal and state law enforcement–those aren’t Jeff Carpenter’s drones up there. The gangs and their useful idiots in Herkimer government never saw how profoundly climate change would impact the region. 

As chip fabs build out in the Mohawk Valley and climate emigres continue to arrive here, waving their checkbooks, authentic law enforcement is ramping up. Carpenter and his magic misdemeanor wand won’t survive the increased scrutiny. Like the gangs, the welfare of the community requires that Jeffrey Carpenter be sent packing. Election 2024 is the next best chance.

Betray the public trust? Always expect that knock on the door.

New York’s New Commission On Prosecutorial Misconduct 

Plea bargaining takes place in the dark. Jeffrey Carpetner’s alleged extensive use of plea bargaining should be investigated for a pattern of misconduct.  For that, we need the State of New York.

After much opposition from New York State’s prosecutors, New York’s new Commission on Prosecutorial Misconduct is about to open for business, the first in the nation.  I’ll post when that happens and how to file a complaint. I can’t be the only one with just a grievance against District Attorney Carpenter.  I’ll be first in line with my complaint. There’s no statute of limitations on administrative punishment for attorney misconduct. 

Criminal Lawyers and The Hardcore Gang Unit

When we lived in Los Angeles, I worked with some of the prosecutors from the LA District Attorney’s Hardcore Gang Unit. (For the record, then-gang unit prosecutor Lance Ito is one of the world’s funniest comedians.)

The gang prosecutors were brought in by the California State Bar’s discipline branch to investigate years of backlogged complaints against California attorneys. We went back, and back and back through years of attorney misconduct complaints from people who’d lost their homes, their savings, their freedom, their sanity.  Attorneys found guilty were publicly censured. Some were disbarred. Some went to prison. Shock, amazement, consternation, whining, when that knock on the door finally came: “But it was a long time ago! What about forgiveness?”

Betray the public trust? Always expect that knock on the door.

Ban the Fat Fairy!
Oust Jeffrey Carpenter!
Herkimer DA Election November 2024

Jeffrey Carpenter has been Herkimer County District Attorney since 2013. He’s up for reelection again in 2024. This is July of 2023–not too early for viable candidates for Herkimer District Attorney to consider running for office. They might begin by researching Carpetner’s history of plea bargains. See if Judge Dailey’s charges of all those sweetheart deals are valid. If so, highlight them on social media, in the press and in public debates at election time. Don’t let Carpenter hide and stonewall as he did with Judge Daley in 2016. 

A great campaign platform is one of reform. Here’s Bill Daley’s from 2016:

“I will stand up to our crime problem by seeking lengthy sentences for child molesters, rapists, murderers, robbers and other violent felons. I will review and present cases left dormant by my opponent to the grand jury, including infant deaths, serial forgeries, police misconduct, and domestic violence cases, and end the ‘good-ole-boy’ system in Herkimer County.”

And so say we all.

============================

About the Art

A special thank you to my wife, computer software developer and artist Linda Kaidan, and her colleague, OpenAI’s DALL·E 2.  From a draft of this post and guidance from Linda, DALL·E 2 created the cartoon characters lampooning People v. Jordan Bormann.

herkimerpost.com crime editor Stephen Ames Berry is a four-times published author, a former officer of Harvard University and a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University. A veteran of US Army Intelligence, Berry was a Special Needs teacher for behaviorally challenged teens in Florida. 

 

Ding Dong! Kim Vargas Moves On

Visits: 316

Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas goes from success to success: after several years of harassment and drug trafficking along Pleasant Avenue, she wrapped up her stint next door by helping her son Jordan Bormann on his way to prison,  charged with a class D violent felony. Jordan Bormann, 21, assaulted an elderly neighbor, sending the old veteran to Albany Medical center with a traumatic brain injury. 

Vargas, the subject of many herkimerpost.com articles, enjoyed a two-and-a-half-year reign of unchecked criminality next door to us at 328 Pleasant Avenue, long a gang sanctuary and retail drug thug front. 

328 Pleasant in the past has been tenanted by such local gang luminaries as Curtis Doolen, aka Curtis Cool, Xavier Rowe, Amanda West and unnamed crew members of gang chieftain Stanley Sykes’ drug and child trafficking gang. It is the next-to-the-last property on Pleasant Avenue to be emptied of Herkimer drug and child trafficking filth. (Landlord Jay Smith’s properties comprising Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub remain unflushed.)

This March makes our ninth year in Herkimer. For seven of those years, 328 Pleasant Avenue has been tenanted by a succession of low criminal types trafficking drugs and occasionally kids, and doing their inept best to force the “weak old people” from “their” street. As with all else in their wretched lives, they failed. Here’s a 328 Pleasant Avenue rogues gallery:

The Froth On the Scum Of The Earth: 328 Pleasant Avenue Rogues Gallery

Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
Herkimer elder-basher Jordan Bormann, unfortunate son of Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas, with vile friends on porch of 328 Pleasant Avenue.
Herkimer elder-basher Jordan Bormann, unfortunate son of Kimberly (Bormann) Vargas, with vile friends on the porch of 328 Pleasant Avenue.
Kim Vargas' son Jordan Bormann assaults elderly neighbor in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. Officer Jason Crippen investigation, found elderly neighbor guilty of the assault. Reinvestigation based on victim's survei9llance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony.
Kim Vargas’ son Jordan Bormann assaults elderly neighbor in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue, causing traumatic brain injury. Officer Jason Crippen’s investigation found elderly neighbor guilty of the assault. Reinvestigation based on victim’s surveillance cam footage saw Bormann charged with Class D Violent Felony.
Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen, harassing elderly neighbors from 328 Pleasant Avenue.
Curtis Cool. Cop-coddled Herkimer drug thug and probable child trafficker ally, menacing his neighbors from driveway of 328 Pleasant Avenue.
328 Pleasant Avenue's Amanda West menacing old folks on their porch.
328 Pleasant Avenue’s wacky Amanda West harassing old folks on their neighboring porch.
328 Pleasant Avenue's Xavier Rowe harassing neighboring old folks.
328 Pleasant Avenue’s Xavier Rowe harassing neighboring old folks.

Herkimer police officer Jason Crippen responding to Kim Vargas' call. from 328 Pleasant Avenue. Crippen threatened us with arrest for using foul language in our driveway.
Herkimer police officer Jason Crippen responding to Kim Vargas’ call. from 328 Pleasant Avenue. Crippen threatened one of us with arrest for using foul language in our driveway.

I’ve speculated at length as to who controls 328 Pleasant Avenue, using it as a retail drug trafficking front. The demographics of the Herkimer area are rapidly going upscale.  We’ll see if they sell the place or move another set of gang scum in there. Whatever happens, there are a lot of surveillance drones around and our cameras stand ready.

Dodgy Herkimer Cop Jason Crippen — “Complicit Or Just An Idiot”? You Decide.

Visits: 4955

Stephen Ames Berry

“Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law, is action taken under color of state law.”  United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 326

Herkimer police officer Jason Crippen, again! Suddenly he’s in our driveway and faces, hectoring and lying and rude. Summoned, per Herkimer normal, by yet another thug playing the victim. This time it’s our latest neighboring drug trafficker, Kim Vargas. We’ve written a lot about her harassment and trafficking. She’s a peach.

“I can’t decide if he’s complicit or just an idiot.”

We’ve been subjected to Crippen’s abuse of power multiple times over the last six years. In all instances, Crippen has malfeasantly supported our criminal neighbors, using his office to intimidate us and deny us the protection of law.  It’s obvious when you speak with him that Crippen’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. As I said to a state police investigator when he raised the subject of Crippen’s conduct, “I can’t decide if he’s complicit or just an idiot.” There’s enough material in this post for you to decide for yourself. Certainly, the performance Crippen puts on here would discourage anyone but a criminal from calling the Herkimer police.

Here’s his pattern: Crippen responds to a 911 complaint from one of our trafficking gang neighbors. He advises us that their accusations are valid, that We’re in violation of criminal law, and threatens us with arrest. He either ignores anything the complaining thugs have done to us or says their actions aren’t subject to criminal law.

On one occasion, Crippen refused to accept a complaint from us while he was manning the desk at the Herkimer police station.  The complaint was carefully written and supported by video evidence. (See below,  “Another Crippen Encounter”.)

This most recent incident on 6/16/22 is classic Crippen. The video should be used in police training classes as an example of intimidation under the color of law.

Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas holding court on her 328 Pleasant Avenue porch.
Herkimer drug thug Kim Vargas holding court on her 328 Pleasant Avenue porch. Small children come and go. Vargas says she’s a licensed daycare provider. She’s not.
Herkimer Monster Mom Kim Vargas
Kim Vargas. Sadly, not a caricature.)

Our Latest Thuggish Neighbors, the Kim Vargases

Kim Vargas has lived next door at 328 Pleasant Avenue for two years–the Doolen gang’s most recent placeholder. Afternoons she holds court on her front porch, along with her supposed brother-in-law, a heavy-set, low-browed antisemite.  The two chain-smoke the day away. A bong is sometimes shared. In the afternoon small children come and go–Vargas’s latest lie is that she’s a licensed daycare provider. She’s not.

The porch people’s chain-smoking quickly fills their porch ashtray. In the morning, we often find cigarette butts heaped in our driveway, next to Vargas’s patch of paradise.

The Right Response To Outrageous Behavior Is Outrage

On June 16th, wife Linda had had enough of the butts and spoke to Vargas firmly, in words typically used by Vargas, to drive home her point. Vargas, horrified by the foul language coming from our driveway, called 911, falsely stating that she was a licensed daycare provider and that children were in danger. Vargas is not a licensed daycare provider. You can cuss in your driveway all you want.

“Crippen…stepped into his familiar role of intimidation through misrepresentation of the law

Children in danger, Officer Jason Crippen immediately responded, followed shortly by two other Herkimer PD officers, seemingly as adult supervision. (The sight of Crippen armed with pistol and taser is as worrying as the sight of Vargas caring for children.)

6.16.22 Hekrimer police officer Jason Crippen confronted by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan in their driveway as Kaidan challenges him to follow through on his threat to arrest her for child endangerment: she used the word fuck in her driveway within hearing of children, speaking to neighboring drug thug Kim Vargas (on porch) in words Vargas typically uses6.16.22 Herkimer Police was officer Jason Crippen confronted by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan in their 330 Pleasant Avenue driveway. Kaidan repeatedly challenged Crippen to follow through on his threat to arrest her for child endangerment: she’d used the word fuck in her driveway within hearing of children, speaking to neighboring drug thug Kim Vargas (on porch) in words Vargas typically uses in front of children. 

Crippen quickly stepped into his familiar role of intimidation through misrepresentation. Below are listed highlights drawn from our video. (A detailed timeline is in the video’s description on our Herkimerpost.com YouTube channel.

Here’s my bodycam video preceded by a brief street cam clip. 

Video

Caught In The Act: Highlights of Crippen’s Attempted Intimidation

In this last lie, Crippen seemed to be referring to our herkimerpost.com articles exposing Herkimer’s booming child trafficking trade, which we alleged was long conducted out of landlord Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue, about 50 yards from our house. Coincidentally, 341 Eureka Avenue was alleged child trafficker Little Mama’s house. It was to her complaint Crippen responded in his 2016 attempt to intimidate us, and inspiration for our dubbing him Herkimer’s dog enticement officer.

Also discussed was our perception of Officer Jason Crippen’s conduct in possible support of alleged child trafficker Little Mama.

State Police Investigation and Officer Jason Crippen

Our Herkimer Child Trafficking went viral, helping bring over a quarter-million combined views to our posts and videos. Apparently, many folks read our cornerstone child trafficking post after  Facebook News picked it up. (It’s taken on a life of its own. Surprisingly, it’s big in China.) Many readers expressed their concern about Herkimer child trafficking to New York state authorities in Albany.

Albany dispatched a state police investigator to discuss Herkimer child trafficking with us, as well as our reports of the years-long poison gas attacks on us by traffickers.

The investigator raised the subject of our perception of Officer Crippen’s conduct in possible support of alleged child trafficker Little Mama, as seen in our YouTube video about him entitled Herkimer’s Dog Enticement Officer. (Included in one of our child trafficking posts read by the state police.) I said I couldn’t decide if Crippen was complicit or just an idiot. (Later it occurred to me that he just might be a useful idiot.) That 2016 incident was our first exposure to Crippen’s trying to intimidate us under the color of law.

Another Crippen Encounter–Failure to Protect: Crippen Defends Drug Thug Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen

Also in 2016, Crippen, manning the desk as duty officer at the Herkimer police station, refused to take a well-documented harassment complaint about a  drug-trafficking neighbor, Vargas’ predecessor at 328 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer’s notorious Curtis Cool aka Curtis Doolen.  From the post: “Officer Crippen said one of us (Kaidan) had triggered Cool’s 10 minutes of menacing and 7 threats of grave bodily harm by making a nanny nanny nanny boo gesture from our driveway at Cool as he peppered us with taunts and obscenities.” (See our post Officer Jason Crippen, Curtis Cool, And The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo) Here’s an extract of the video viewed by Crippen, who then blamed us for provoking Cool’s threats. (Cool called the police to protect him from us.) 

The Nanny nanny boo boo exculpatory in Herkimer NY shoudl one use it in rpsone to harassment and threats of bodily harm, per Herkimer Ofrficer Jason Crippen
2016, Linda Kaidan makes the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo at neighboring drug thug Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen, ignorant that it was exculpatory for harassment in Herkimer New York, per Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen.

Has Crippen Intimidated Others Under the Color of Law?

Surely We’re not the only ones Officer Crippen’s intimated under the color of law?  According to Chief Michael Jory’s report to the Village Trustees and Mayor, Herkimer Village Police respond to about 500 phone calls a month.  How many of these calls have been complaints Crippen has suppressed?

Not everyone’s a pigheaded blogger and filmmaker with a well-established social media presence. Confronted by a belligerent, bullying Crippen, most folks are going to fade. No wonder the local gangers strut about with such an air of entitlement.

Below is my complaint about Crippen to Chief Jory. There’s at least one other current complaint about Crippen in the police database, according to the Herkimer Times Telegram, but you won’t be able to read it: After the Village refused to make its police complaints’ records available, as required by New York law, it was sued by the Gannet Organization, owner of The Herkimer Times Telegram and the Utica Observer. Rather than releasing the records, The Village of Herkimer hired a law firm to keep this public resource from the public. 

Herkimer Village won the first round in its attempt to avoid fully complying with New York’s Freedom of Information Law as it pertains to police discipline reports. The matter is on appeal.

We wondered the other day, as we tottered over Herkimer’s heaving stretches of ancient broken sidewalks, how our impoverished Rust Belt village justified spending an unpublicized amount of money to flout state law. But then, to quote The Herkimer Post, “‘It’s Herkimer,’ folks say with a shrug.” 

Herkimer Only Releasing Recent Substantiated P0lice Conduct Complaints: Jason Crippen’s Released

Many local police agencies are refusing to comply with the new FOIL requirements regarding police discipline complaints. Here’s the stonewall you hit when you query Herkimer County in the database.

Interviewed by the Herkimer Telegram’s Donna Thompson for her excellent coverage of Herkimer Village’s FOIL non-compliance, Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory expressed his support for the law. One reason for that may be that, as it stands now, bad apples can be passed from Herkimer County police agency to police agency, inflicting their bad behaviors on unsuspecting communities, with the county’s police chiefs unaware until the complaints start coming in.

Herkimer Village won’t release any unsubstantiated complaints made about officers, and then will only release substantiated ones filed since the FOIL was amended. This means the copies of complaints of the two officers it did release were substantiated complaints. One of those officers was Patrolman Jason Crippen. Perhaps someday we’ll get to read it, or them. 

It took the Village a year to provide those records to Gannet-Herkimer Telegram. Which can publish them as it sees fit. But only here on the doughty Herkimer Post can you read the most recent complaint against Herkimer’s Officer Jason Crippen. Or you can request a copy from the Village, and if it’s substantiated, wait a year or so to receive it. (All our PDFs are downloadable.)

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“Other Complicit Cops”

As I noted to Chief Jory in my complaint, in a heated part of my exchange with Officer Crippen I refer to “other complicit cops.” To the best of my knowledge, those who abused their authority to intimidate us are gone. Since Chief Jory took command, all of his officers but Crippen have been very supportive of us and often gone out of their way to offer encouragement and advice during some very stressful incidents, treating us as concerned citizen partners.

Digging Deeper: Jason Crippen And Revamp Fitness

Jason Crippen’s Revamp Fitness, 131 East Albany St., Herkimer, NY

Officer Jason Crippen came to widespread attention in Upstate New York during the pandemic threatening to reopen his Herkimer Revamp Fitness facility in violation of state law.  “Those are only civil penalties that result in fines, not laws being broken.,” He was quoted as saying about possible fines  “This is America … We’re not a communist country.”

Crippen and a staff of six opened the spacious  9,000-square-foot facility in January of 2018, financed by a combination of public and bank loans, and help from unnamed “private investors,” according to the  Herkimer Times-Telegram.

Crippen’s spiffy modern gym boasts a lot of gleaming top-of-the-line equipment, which he’s rumored to lease. If so, with 30-40 pieces of equipment at $60 – $100 a month per piece of equipment, the leasing fees could easily be $3,000-$4,000 a month.  But at $35 a month, membership is amazingly reasonable, and the place never looks crowded. Then there’s the cost of maintaining the building and paying the property tax and staff.

Respect

“Members enjoy being part of a private and respectful community,” says the gym’s website.  Respect is what I think of when I think of Herkimer’s Officer Jason Crippen.

Looking spotlessly new and unused, gleaming equipment abounds in Jason Crippen’s Revamp Fitness, Herkimer.

Herkimer Officer Crippen Investigates–Finds Victim Guilty

New York State Police Visit–Child Trafficking, Poison Gassing

Visits: 504

Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan

“Human trafficking finds both its victims and perpetrators in regions of
poverty, violence, and corruption.”  Shannon A. Welch, Human Trafficking and Terrorism

Last month at his request, we welcomed New York State Police Investigator Jason Nellis into our home. We talked for about 90 minutes in a part of our house not yet contaminated by Herkimer trafficking gangs’ 21 months of poison gas attacks.  Our conversation highlighted the inherent inability of local and state law enforcement to cope with gang-based domestic terrorism.

Herkimer Child Trafficking Sparks  Concern In Albany

Nellis came in response to “the concerns of several people” in Albany regarding our widely-read series exposing Herkimer’s extensive role in the multi-billion dollar transcontinental child trafficking industry.  He also addressed our nearly 2 years of reporting gang attacks on our property and selves using volatilized pesticides.  

It was a wide-ranging, an information-only visit during which Investigator Nellis clearly articulated why the New York State Police aren’t players in the child trafficking and gang-busting arena. (We even touched briefly on Herkimer’s dog enticement officer Jason Crippen.

We were our usual unflinchingly outspoken selves. Investigator Nellis was an engaged listener. He didn’t agree with some of our suppositions, and we didn’t agree with some of his assumptions. It was a polite and frank exchange during which we made the following points:

  • Herkimer child trafficking now apparently out of range of our cameras – Not gone far. Child trafficking brings welcomed cash into economically depressed Herkimer. Has long been protected here. Logistically complex operation with many dependencies. Has proven local partners and protected properties. Moving it from Herkimer would be difficult, costly, time-consuming and risky. 
  • Herkimer landlords complacently shelter child traffickers  – Property owner need not be complicit with cash-heavy criminals.  Just has to rent to them.  Herkimer’s historic child trafficking hub properties’ landlord Jay Smith was a case raised by state police investigator. For years Smith provided rental properties to the high-volume transnational child trafficker Little Mama and the Stanley Sykes gang. The gang’s still there, still trafficking.
  • FBI has sole jurisdiction over child trafficking – This we knew. Local and state police agencies haven’t the resources to tackle child trafficking cartels and their transnational networks. Billions in child trafficking profits make large bribes possible. The FBI has the resources to take on large gangs and also provides assurance of integrity.

Why State Police can’t stop Herkimer poison gas attacks

It became obvious as we talked that the State of New York has no way to detect and interdict poison gas attacks on the scale we’ve experienced.  No state does–states haven’t the resources and their police agencies haven’t the structure. These heinous attacks constitute domestic terrorism. They’re staged from fleets of vehicles modified to stealthily dispense clouds of invisible, odorless pesticide, and from neighboring properties rented to drug and child traffickers. 

This isn’t just about us.  The many vehicles and properties involved argue this is a well-established, well-honed strategy for driving people from their homes, dead or alive.  Houses can then be picked up for a song at tax auction, quickly mitigated, and tenanted with gang members.

There was much talk of the burden of proof of poisoning being our responsibility. Opening an investigation, we were told, would require evidence in the form of medical tests and property toxicity reports–at our expense. 

Investigator Nellis used the word “evidence’ quite a bit. No evidence, no investigation. We think probable cause should be enough to open an investigation with evidence to be obtained by the police during the course of the investigation.  But to do so would require more resources, and be a tacit admission that regional law enforcement has long been either been willfully ignorant of the danger or asleep at the switch.

Only the FBI Can Halt Herkimer Gangs

There have been strong indications in the last few years of a large federal law enforcement presence in and around Herkimer. Eyes in the sky, boots on the ground. It seems to us that toxicity levels from these poison attacks have been confirmed by lab testing and direct observation. And resources deployed accordingly. 

Some big bites have been taken out of the gangs’ poison gas campaign capabilities in Herkimer. The feds have the resources for this. Drone-mounted thermal imaging cameras can detect poison gas being dispensed, and follow the identified spraying vehicles and deal with their drivers.

Let’s put a tiny part of NY’s “$224 million in federal funding to support counterterrorism and emergency preparedness” to good use.

In September  2018 Herkimer County was awarded $89,974 as part of a statewide grant to improve safety in New York. Counter-terrorism is one purpose of this grant. Perhaps a very small part of it could go to halting child trafficking activities on Pleasant Avenue in Herkimer, NY using modern technology, like the FLIR Griffin™ G510 portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS).  This chemical hazard identification device can quickly identify serious hazards. A single device can be shared by multiple counties and solve problems currently identified as being “impossible to prove.”  Help end the long reign of Herkimer’s three monkeys. 

herkimer ny
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

 

Herkimer Child Trafficking – Why It Took Us 2 Years to Notice

Visits: 3319

Stephen Ames Berry

Child Trafficking Relies on Stealth

It was artfully concealed in plain sight, just next door.  Only after Little Mama and Pretty Boy had moved on did we realize they were child traffickers, two busy conductors along America’s bustling underground railroad of sex trafficked kids. 

Herkimer child trafficking hub passes to Stanley Sykes gang's Carrie Ann Bass.
8.20.16 Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes’s gang’s Carrie Ann Bass (left) with big time child traffickers Little Mama and Pretty Boy the day the Sykes gang became guardians of Herkimer’s longtime child trafficking compound.

Child traffickers create an illusion of normalcy, playing to your preconceptions. Everything you see about them appears ordinary. Nothing jarring, nothing out of context.  Unless you know what to look for, you probably won’t spot their operations.

Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue for years was the perfect child trafficking cover– a noisy, lawless street, bustling with drug traffickers roaring by day and night, and teeming with kids from transient families.  Moving from Florida, we bought our house in March of 2014 and were preoccupied with street harassment and documenting neighborly narcotics trafficking. We pretty much ignored what seemed normal comings and goings.

Little Mama’s Daily Child Shuttle

Almost every morning, five to six days a week, the young woman we named Little Mama drove past our house and into the next-door parking lot with an SUV full of kids, mostly 12 or younger.  Sometimes another car would arrive. with Little Mama. That one typically had 3-4 toddlers. All the children were white. They’d disappear into Little Mama’s 341 Eureka Ave home, a Jay Smith property. Usually they were gone by morning.

Herkimer child trafficked kids 341 Eureka Ave Herkimer 4/16
3 trafficked kids, 341 Eureka Avenue, Herkimer NY. 4/14/16. All kids bikes on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue could only come from the trafficker’s shed, just off camera to the left. Riders not allowed out of the parking. 4th kid–kid on ground– is local, son of Stanley Sykes gang female ally Trash Mouth.

Herkimer Child Trafficking Pattern – Never the Same Kids

Infants and toddlers went into Little Mama’s, but never reappeared. Sometimes the older children would ride bikes, but only in the parking lot. The bikes were issued from the property’s shed.  (The kids on Pleasant Avenue didn’t ride bicycles and weren’t allowed in the  lot.) Little Mama’s younger kids would also play in the parking lot, but only with each other or the Stanley Sykes gang’s kids.

Our older daughter hung out in our backyard a lot. She was the first to notice: “Only one or two of her kids are ever the same.” We started watching, and she was right. But still, we didn’t tumble to it. 

A Heck Of A Lot of Kids

We were very distracted, as intended, and didn’t do the math until long after the traffickers moved on. Then we were astounded–over time, that’s  a lot of different kids–easily 1000 a year, possibly as many as 2000, depending on the number of days per year,  number of unique kids per carload and number of vehicles per day.  We don’t know the exact number. But we do know there aren’t that many surplus kids up here in rural New York. 

“We never looked too hard–it was just kids.”

At night, cars would quickly come and go from the rear of Little Mama’s 341 Eureka Avenue, with visitors slipping in and out. It being Herkimer, we assumed she was just trafficking drugs. We were wrong.

In the morning Little Mama would drive off alone. We thought she might be  an after-school care provider and the kids had been picked up by their parents the afternoon before, from the front of her house on Eureka Avenue. We never look too hard–it was just kids.

Our back and side yards were so quiet we only hung a camera out there to catch a brazen tomato thief. The camera faithfully recorded the kids, Little Mama and her associates – coming and going. Pity we didn’t keep most of those clips, but it was just kids.

Then the harassment and vandalism began.

Camera Triggers Herkimer Child Traffickers Attacks

Herkimer’s major child traffickers and their principal local allies, the Stanley Sykes gang, wouldn’t have harassed and vandalized us if we hadn’t put up that $50 mom-and-pop camera.  And if they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have looked with new eyes at their activities, or come to the sickening conclusions we finally did. As our neighbor Joyce Barton taught us, Herkimer’s criminals always attack if you put up cameras. Cameras give away their secrets.

Suddenly our fence was being vandalized, our old dog pelted with rocks and metal, our back yard littered with junk hurled from the parking lot.

Easter Sunday 2016, Little Mama had the fake dad of her current consignment of trafficked kids challenge us for having a camera up.. Never saw Easter Dad before this video, haven’t seen him since. Outraged fake parents protesting cameras are a standard Herkimer traffickers’ ploy. 

Herkimer Police Officer Jason Crippen Accuses Us Of Trespassing And Dog Enticement

I traded words with Easter Dad in March of 2016. Verbal harassment and junk hurling flavored the mood of the season. Little Mama and Sykes gang’s Carrie Ann Bass took to taunting our older daughter in our backyard, shrieking “Whore!” and “Psycho!” (Carrie Ann Bass is part of the Stanley Sykes gang’s harassment squad.)

On the night of 4/4-4/5/16, our parking lot fence was ravaged. When we went to inspect it from the parking lot side, Little Mama summoned Herkimer cop Jason Crippen, who tried to intimidate us with the threat of trespassing and dog enticement charges. (Crippen later refused to take a well-documented criminal harassment complaint against another cash-heavy Herkimer criminal, Curtis Cool.)  

Crippen has done quite well for himself, opening a 9000 sq ft upscale Revamp Fitness in downtown Herkimer. He told News Channel 2 he opened the gym partially out of his concern for Herkimer’s elderly population. Crippen continues his duties as a Herkimer police officer, serving elderly citizens such as us.

Child Trafficking Regional Management Takes Charge

Herkimer child trafficking regional management visit
Little Mama’s Regional Management Takes Charge

Little Mama’s management then showed up. (The SUV  with the New Jersey colored plate, top right.)  One of them visited us that day, our escaped dog in tow: early forties, blonde, well-spoken. She could have been a  professional in any large organization, which of course she was. She tacitly apologized for any problems with “our friend Vickie.” The attacks stopped. Cold. It was like a light going out. 

We think it was then that the regional child trafficking management team decided to relocate their Herkimer transit point.  Child trafficking, like poisoning, only succeeds through stealth. We were well-known for sharing Herkimer crime on our blog, and Little Mama had idiotically attracted our attention. And then there were those government surveillance drones increasingly dotting Herkimer’s skies.

In August 2016, Little Mama and Pretty Boy relocated their Herkimer child trafficking operation and turned the Pleasant Avenue compound over to the Stanley Sykes gang for safekeeping, with Stanley moving into Little Mama’s 341 Eureka Avenue, still owned by Herkimer landlord Jay Smith. 

Enter Master Herkimer Harasser Curtis Cool aka Curtis Doolen

Over the months it took them to transit to a new location, our adjacent child traffickers seemingly called upon a local ally, our neighbor to the other side of us at 328 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer thug Curtis Cool, to keep us distracted. Curtis is a superb actor and gave remarkable performances, as his astounding and ever-growing YouTube views show.  We kept that camera on his house and off of the parking lot. Mostly.

What we saw and videoed in that Herkimer parking lot from mid-August 2016 to the end of that month overcame our denial and left us stricken.

Officer Jason Crippen, Curtis Cool And The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo

Visits: 759

12/17/16 Curtis Cool aka Curtis Doolen, has put Herkimer on the map: 6,100+ views of his videos and growing, as referring sites offer them for free download. One comment on a British site: “The Herkimer Police–the strong arm of the law.”  

by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan

“I’ve got a strong law enforcement community which is actively conducting … investigations.” Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey  S. Carpenter (9/8/16)  Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint.

Linda Kaidan making the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo gesture

Linda Kaidan unwittingly making the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo, ignorant that it was exculpatory for harassment  in Herkimer New York

Despite a change of command and increased patrols, Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint, even for this outrageous and well-documented incident. (We have more.) This one is fresh, others occurred under Herkimer’s previous police chief, Joseph Malone, who abruptly retired in the teeth of an ethics investigation. It demonstrates an alarming ongoing pattern of failure to protect by the Herkimer Police.

Typically the Herkimer Police say they’ll only take a complaint following a second incident of harassment because Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter won’t prosecute. Harassment must be repeated to qualify as a criminal offense, they assert.

Not true. Your tormentor must either “engage in conduct or repeatedly commit acts which alarm or seriously annoy the victim and serve no legitimate purpose,” according to New York state law.  We endured 7 threats of grave bodily harm in 10 minutes, following a previous incident of public harassment. Our assailant called the police to protect him.

Herkimer Aggravated Harassment Incident of 8/23/16

Curtis Cool Herkimer drug and child trafficker
Curtis Cool. Cop-coddled Herkimer drug thug and child trafficker

On Tuesday August 23, 2016, we were again verbally harassed and then threatened with multiple acts of physical violence by 328 Pleasant Avenue tenant, Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, first in our driveway and then on the public sidewalk. The previous night we’d again reported Cool for yet another of his multiple illegal late-night fires.)

The Herkimer Police and the New York State Police responded promptly and again defused Curtis Cool. The responding officers were very supportive and encouraged us to file a harassment complaint at the Herkimer Police station. Cool’s actions seemed to us to be obviously either 2nd or 1st Degree Aggravated Harassment. With Cool charged, we could obtain a Temporary Order of Protection, which would force him to move from his rented base at  Harriett Tangorra’s 328 Pleasant Avenue house.

On Wednesday 8/24 we gathered our evidence–two cellphone videos, a surveillance cam video and a detailed narrative.  At approximately 2:30 p.m, we went to the Herkimer Police station after first calling to see if it would be convenient to do so. The officer on duty, Officer Jason Crippen, said to come down.

Herkimer Police Say Nanny-Nanny-Nanny-Boo Excuses Aggravated Harassment

Officer Crippen asked us to wait while he looked at abundant evidence. He briefly reviewed a short portion of our first cellphone video, seen below, then stopped and refused to write up a complaint. “It would just be a waste of time,” he said.

Criminal-coddling Herkimer cop Jason Cripenn, Herkimer Police.
Boy-next-door: Criminal-coddling Herkimer cop Jason Crippen, Herkimer Police.

His reason? Officer Crippen said one of us (Kaidan) had triggered Cool’s menacing and threats of grave bodily harm by making a nanny nanny nanny boo gesture from our driveway at Cool as he peppered us with taunts and obscenities. Officer Crippien’s implication? That Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter would not prosecute Cool, as Kaidan’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo would exonerate Cool, holding him harmless for his threats and menacing.

Here’s the portion of the cellphone clip reviewed by Officer Crippen before dismissing us. It has been closed-captioned for the selectively hearing impaired. (Full Screen/click on the CC icon.): [Yo! It’s Curtis Cool: Parents strongly cautioned.]

The incident continued a moment later as Kaidan, refusing to be driven inside her home by Cool, asserted her right to walk along the public sidewalk in front of Cool’s house. Here’s an extract from that clip. (Officer Crippen didn’t review it, so we didn’t close caption it):

Both full-length videos from 8/23 (7 threats of grave bodily harm), and our surveillance camera footage confirming the events, place, date and time are on our flash drive, gathering dust at the Herkimer Police station. Included with them is our narrative of the incident and our video of Cool’s previous public harassment of us on 8/11/16. (During this last he cited his landlord, Harriett Tangorra in demanding our arrest. For having surveillance cameras.  ) Officer Crippen used our narrative to review the first clip. Seeing the nanny-nanny-boo-boo, he gave Cool a pass and sent us packing.

“It’s obvious that over time Herkimer has ceded its streets to drugs and thugs. Gonna be hard taking them back.

Officer Crippen’s Advice: Hide In Your Home

Herkimer village trustees
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

Officer Crippen’s advice was the same as that of Herkimer’s drug thugs when we first unwittingly moved to Pleasant Avenue: Hide: “Keep away from him and just stay in your apartment, ” Crippen advised. 

It’s our house. We own it. It’s next door to the thug. A sidewalk is a public place. We asserted our right to use it. We’ll continue to do so. It’s obvious that over time Herkimer has ceded its streets to drugs and thugs. Gonna be hard taking them back.

Officer Crippen then belatedly added this was just this opinion. And that we might try our luck with one of the responding officers–maybe they’d take the complaint. Crippen seemed miffed that we’d distracted him from his law enforcement duties.

If the Police won’t take A criminal harassment complaint, WHo wins?

This is the 4th time in two years we’ve had the Herkimer Police ooze out of taking some flavor of a harassment complaint against cash-heavy criminals. We’ve heard the same from others. This isn’t policing, it’s depraved indifference. It throws  Herkimer’s people to the wolves for the sake of politicians cynically running for office as crime fighters. And it emboldens criminals like Cool, who recently moved away unscathed despite many police and fire department visits. (To our knowledge, Cool was never cited for his illegal bonfires nor charged with harassment.) When Herkimer Police refused again to take a criminal harassment complaint, they made it clear that law and order is not their priority.

And so it goes on, with Herkimer’s reputation as a lawless jurisdiction attracting more criminals and endangering even more people.

“A matter of public safety”

Herkimer’s good cops seem to leave if they can, the few bad ones content to stay, cozied up to criminals and even sometimes running interference for them. Crime goes unreported and soars, with entire streets abandoned to drug traffickers. Herkimer’s reputation as a lawless jurisdiction attracts more drug and child traffickers. It becomes an even more dangerous place to live. There’s a strong smell of rotten fish in the air.

What does it matter that Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint?

Who stands to win if we all lose? Criminals, greedy landlords, criminal defense attorneys. And some politicians: Incumbent Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter is trumpeting a lowered violent crime rate in support of his reelection. It’s easy to lower the crime rate if your police don’t take criminal complaints. To take them and act on them, though, is “A matter of public safety.”

[Narrative of incident of 8/23/16 submitted to Herkimer Police is below. Times stated refer to the full videos submitted to the Herkimer Police. Here’s the concrete block Cool was hefting off-camera.] And here’s the unedited clip given the Herkimer Police.