11/27/12 4:38pm
11/27/2012 4:38 PM

Four men were arrested during an East End DWI Task Force operation in Riverhead Friday night, authorities said.

The operation included a checkpoint on East Main Street as well as random patrols in the area conducted by the Riverhead, Suffolk County and Quogue police departments, said Riverhead police Lt. David Lessard.

The checkpoint ran from 8 p.m. on Friday night through 4 a.m. Saturday morning and netted four arrests, police said.

Rodney Shorter, 36, of Mattituck, was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

Jose Ortega, 34, of Mattituck and Robert Reddick Jr., 22, of Southampton were arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, police said.

Rodney Trappen, 35, of Aquebogue was also arrested in the police operation and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Lt. Lessard said the task force, which began this summer and encompasses police departments across the East End, will conduct an additional operation later this year.

He advised residents to drive safely during the holidays.

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09/14/12 4:00pm
09/14/2012 4:00 PM

BETH YOUNG PHOTO |  Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota speaks at a press conference Friday at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Hampton Bays.

The Suffolk County East End DWI Task Force plans to expand its mission to cover Boating While Intoxicated crimes next summer, after a successful inaugural summer of DWI checkpoints on the East End.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced the effort at a press conference at the U.S. Coast Guard station in Hampton Bays Friday afternoon.

“We just the other day decided the time had come when we had to do this,” said Mr. Spota, who said he had just recently been involved in the indictment of a man who killed a father of two when he was in a waterway channel going the wrong way at an excessive rate of speed. “I will deputize all the officers so they can cross local boundaries.”

Mr. Spota said the Coast Guard will also play a major role in the effort.

“All agencies will participate, even those that don’t have a boat,” he said. “We have to be as aggressive as we are on the land.”

Mr. Spota said the D.A.’s office will use the proceeds from assets seized from criminals to fund overtime expenses for local departments, as well as state grant money and fees that Suffolk County receives from people who are convicted of DWI.

“The residents of the East End will not be paying a nickel for this effort,” he said.

Mr. Spota added that the DWI Task Force checkpoints, which began Memorial Day Weekend throughout the East End and have netted numerous arrests each weekend, will continue on designated weekends through the end of this year.

Mr. Spota said he had personally spent 11 years as a homicide prosecutor consoling families who couldn’t understand how a drunk driver had ruined their family’s life.

He also thanked representatives from the East End police departments who participated in the effort, many of whom were at the press conference.

“The very worst part of policing is bearing the burden of knocking on that door to bear that terrible news,” he said.

“They say success has many fathers but failure is an orphan,” he said. “We have a lot of proud fathers here. As district attorney, I’m deeply grateful for their enthusiasm and cooperation.”

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07/22/12 11:02am
07/22/2012 11:02 AM

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | Southold Town Police arrested six people at sobriety checkpoints Saturday night and Sunday morning.

A pair of DWI checkpoints in Southold Town led to the arrests of six drivers in the overnight hours Saturday night and Sunday morning, town police said.

The checkpoints were set up in cooperation with the East End Stop DWI Task Force.

Police said Sunday that the following six people were arrested:

• Santos Ruiz, 36, of Peconic was cited for DWI, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and moving from a lane unsafely.

• Ricardo Ramos-Hernandez, 32,  of Greenport was cited for DWI, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, uninsured operation of a motor vehicle and operating a vehicle with an expired registration.

• James Tozar, 70, of Mattituck was charged with DWI.

• Gabriella Garren, 22, of East Marion was cited for aggravated DWI and inadequate lights on a motor vehicle.

• Zachary Savona, 29, of Stamford, Conn. was charged with DWI.

• Donna Johnson, 34, of Patchogue was charged with DWI.