MASSENA - Village police charged Michele E. Reese, 44, of Massena with third-degree grand larceny and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance at 11:58 p.m. Wednesday. Police said Reese, who was released from prison earlier this week, was staying at the Econo Lodge, Route 37.
She was picked up on an arrest warrant, arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and released to reappear Tuesday in Massena Village Court..
Reese, formerly of Rochester, allegedly provided Michael Gleason with a $5,000 check and asked him to place it in his checking account because she didnt have a bank in Massena.
The check had reportedly been stolen from Weldon Peterson, and his name was allegedly forged on the document. She also reportedly wrote a second check for $6,500 on Petersons account. The $5,000 check was deposited in Gleasons account on March 9, 2013.
Mr. Gleason, in a statement he provided police in May 2013, said he had dated Reese for a short period of time and she had lived with him intermittently. He told police Reese told him she had moved to Massena to care for Peterson, whom she said was her cousin, and to hide from an ex-boyfriend.
Around March 6, Michele gave me a check made out to me in the amount of $5,000, he said in his statement, noting she told him it was the first installment of $20,000 he owed her.
She did not have a bank account anywhere and was fearful that her estranged boyfriend might be able to track her so she asked me if I would deposit the check into my checking account, Mr. Gleason pointed out in his statement.
He said the following weekend Reese suggested they go to Lake Placid for the weekend and said she would pay for the hotel, meals and expenses from the check she had deposited in Mr. Gleasons account.
He said he received notice from Massena Savings and Loan shortly after returning to Massena from Lake Placid that the check written on the Weldon Peterson Trust had been written on an account with insufficient funds.
Mr. Gleason said he had also noticed when reviewing his finances that several cash withdrawals had been made from ATM machines while they were in Lake Placid without his permission. He said he had given Reese his debit card to purchase cigarettes on a couple of occasions when they were in Lake Placid but had not given her his approval to use the card for any other purpose.
He also said when he had gone to Florida for a 16-day vacation last year he had been notified Reese had taken his vehicle and driven to Rochester, where she had been arrested on a warrant and hospitalized for a drug overdose.
Mr. Gleason said Reese had sent him a letter while she was incarcerated apologizing for her actions and telling him she had a drug problem.
Reese had been sentenced to one to three years in state prison in July 2013 for a fourth-degree grand larceny conviction.
According to the New York state Department of Corrections and Community Services website, she was released under parole supervision on Tuesday from the Albion Correctional Facility. She had entered state prison on July 8. The maximum expiration date of her state sentence is March 2016.
Mr. Peterson told police he had met Reese in Rochester and had dated her until she entered into a relationship with Mr. Gleason.