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Authorities: cigarette smuggling ring linked to Capital Region

ALBANY - Authorities have linked a cigarette smuggling ring with ties to stores in Albany and Schenectady counties to known terrorists.

The state Attorney General's Office has charged 16 people in the case. They're accused of selling untaxed cigarettes up and down the east coast.

One of the stores includes the House of Juan in Westgate Plaza in Albany. The state Tax and Finance Department raided the store back in April. One employee was arrested.

Clifton Park man wanted in 2 Philippines killings arrested

CLIFTON PARK – A Saratoga County man is now in the custody of US Marshals in connection with a double homicide in the Philippines.

State police and FBI agents arrested Timothy Kaufman of Clifton Park on Wednesday afternoon. He's accused in the deadly shooting of David Balmer and Balmer's girlfriend.

Both were staying with Richard Agnew, who owns several adult night clubs in the Philippines.

Kaufman and Balmer were both retired police officers from Northern Ireland.

Kaufman is now awaiting an extradition hearing next month.

Army captain assaulted at Albany Walmart

ALBANY – Police have arrested a Guilderland man after they say he attacked a 43-year-old Army captain while inside the Walmart store located on Washington Avenue Extension.

According to police, 47-year-old Yiqiang Wu yelled derogatory statements at the man about the U.S. Army before striking him several times in the face.

The captain, who was wearing his Army uniform at the time, suffered bruises as well as a laceration over his eye. He was treated at the scene.

The suspect was charged with assault as a hate crime and released on bail. 

Corrections officers arrested in gambling probe

ALBANY - Two Albany County corrections officers accused of taking part in a multi-state gambling ring are free on bail tonight.

Timothy Robilard, 44, and James Cerniglia, 47, were taken into custody when they arrived to work at the jail in Colonie Wednesday morning. They were charged with enterprise corruption – accused of running a gambling ring at the jail.

Three other suspects outside of the jail were also charged.

All five pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Wednesday night and are free on 25-thousand-dollars bail.

This is part of a multi-state investigation involving the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, the Albany County district attorney, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Dogs abandoned in U-Haul truck up for adoption

MENANDS - Two out of four dogs left out in a parked U-Haul truck in below freezing temperatures last month are ready for new homes. 

Gavin and Neve are both pit bull mixes.

The dogs were brought to the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society after being found in a locked truck parked at a Colonie Motel.

The other two dogs are going to foster homes.

Their owner, Anthony Walker, was charged with animal cruelty. Police say he is the same man charged in connection with the railroad puppies case.

Railroad puppies suspect accused of abusing more dogs

COLONIE - A man already caught up in accusations he abused puppies is now facing new charges of animal abuse.

Colonie police say Anthony Walker of Albany left four dogs locked in a U-Haul truck in the frigid weather. They say the dogs were emaciated when they found them.

Walker is the same man who was charged earlier this month in connection with three puppies found injured near some railroad tracks in Albany. One of those dogs died and another lost a paw.

Now police say Walker is responsible for the dogs found locked in the cargo space of a rental truck parked at the Super 8 motel on Central Avenue.

The dogs were taken to the Capital District Animal Emergency Clinic for treatment.

Firefighter accused of stealing from firehouse

COLONIE - A volunteer firefighter is under arrest; accused of stealing equipment from the fire department he's supposed to be helping.

Police say 39-year-old James Turley stole seven helmets, a fire jacket, and a pair of fire pants, a pair of gloves, a fire mask and a harness rescue system from the Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Department.

Police were tipped off by another firefighter who heard that the items were being sold at the X-change Cash and Trade on Central Avenue.

According to police, Turley claimed to be from another station that is closing. 

Turley is now charged with grand larceny.

Police say most of the gear was already sold.