WGXC-90.7 FM

How gun culture surrounds us, too

Jan 10, 2011 5:45 am
As if to demonstrate the thinking that guns have gotten too prevalent in our society, a Register Star prominently ran a story yesterday about how two Columbia County men were arrested Thursday after police received tips that someone was trying to sell a hot gun in Hudson. Andrew Amelinckx, who is also producing "Difficult Histories" for WGXC-FM, reports that Jason A. Higley and Alex D. Cruz, both 24 and from Hudson, were picked up by the Hudson Police Department after detectives received phone tips that a man was trying to sell a gun to people near State Street in Hudson.

“We received information from concerned citizens,” said HPD Lt. Richard Paolino, adding that officers tracked down the two suspects and discovered a handgun in their vehicle. Higley has been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony, while Cruz was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony. Both men have also been charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, a class E felony. Higley and Cruz were arraigned in Hudson City Court before Judge Richard Koweek and remanded to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond and $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond, respectively. According to HPD this is the second illegal handgun recovered by the agency this year. On Jan. 3, a citizen discovered a handgun in a parking lot near lower Columbia Street in Hudson. The investigation is still continuing in that case, he said.

Concurrently, the Times Union reported on Sunday about anti-gang anti-gun investigations in the state capital since September 2006, when a wave of shootings swept the city. Charting histories for the Jungle Junkies, Original Gangsta Killers, and other entities, the story notes the importance of involvement by the U.S. Attorney's office in putting together a task force that brought together the resources of the Albany police, DEA, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), among others. Many of the gangs' drug deals were monitored, the ATF built a database of shootings using every shell casing and bullet recovered from crime scenes, and individual guns, many of them stolen in other states, were connected to the gang members who used, sold or kept the weapons. And according to reporter Brendan Lyons, he investigation reached its peak two weeks ago when the last of 25 OGK members pleaded guilty to federal drug conspiracy charges. They are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming months. Last year, a Jungle Junkies case culminated with the last of 30 people, including Conley and Robinson, being sentenced to federal prison. The story charts how members joined gangs at ages as young as 10 or 11, entering a culture of violence that has plagued many upstate cities.
For the full Register Star story, click here.
For the Times Union piece, try here.

Wave Farm / WGXC Acra Contact Info
Mailing: PO Box 13 Acra, NY 12405
Main Office / Acra Studio
(518) 622-2598
WGXC Office
(518) 697-7400
WGXC Hudson Studio
(518) 828-0290
WGXC Feedback
(518) 212-7509 feedback@wgxc.org
Wave Farm / WGXC Acra Studio: 5662 Route 23 Acra, NY 12405
WGXC Hudson Studio: 369 Warren St. Hudson, NY 12534