Owen pleads to weapons charge in County Court

The first case Tuesday, June 23 was that of Jessica Owen, 32, one of the three people arrested following a late night car chase, an off-road wreck, and a confrontation with police in early January, for weapons and drug charges.

BRADLEY ZADUL, 40, of Niagara Falls, JESSICA OWEN, 32, of Umatilla, Fla. and CHARLES BUCHANAN, 38, of Penn Yan, were arrested at the end of that high speed pursuit through Penn Yan at 2:34 a.m. Jan. 2, and were later indicted by a grand jury.

Police say they observed Zadul leaving a suspected drug location in Penn Yan driving an uninspected vehicle. They stopped him for the violation at East Elm and Main Streets, but as officers approached the vehicle, Zadul fled the stop. They pursued Zadul through the village north on Rte. 14A into Benton at speeds over 100 mph, turning east on Buckle Road and to North Flat Street where Zadul left the roadway and attempted to drive through a farmer’s field in a small Mazda wagon. Zadul broke through an electric fence and struck a barn before driving into a ditch. Zadul attempted to flee on foot and was tasered by Yates County Sheriff’s Deputies who were assisting in the pursuit. Zadul and his passengers, Buchanan and Owen, were all taken into custody.

While searching Zadul, PYPD located a loaded .25 caliber handgun in his waistband, and a sheath knife on his belt. Officers also located a sawed-off 20 gauge shotgun in the vehicle that had the serial number defaced, along with several bags of suspected methamphetamine and marijuana. Zadul’s vehicle was impounded, and a further search revealed a .22 caliber revolver, along with numerous bags of marijuana seeds, over $1,100 in cash, a baton, knives, and drug paraphernalia. Police also located a full Kingsmen Motorcycle Club vest along with numerous Kingsmen patches, and say Zadul appears to be a member of the Kingsmen, which has been involved in criminal activity in Western New York and has chapters in other states.

Owen originally pled not guilty to charges of 2nd degree criminal possession of a loaded weapon (C felony) and 3rd degree criminal possession of a weapon (D felony). She was remanded on $10,000 bail or $15,000 fully secured bond or $20,000 partially secured bond.

Appearing Tuesday via video conference from the Yates County Centralized Arraignment Court at the county jail, Owen and Judge Jason L. Cook had difficulty hearing one another as she entered her guilty plea to the reduced charge of attempted 2nd degree criminal possession of a loaded weapon as a class D felony. Barely containing his frustration with the technical difficulties, Cook carefully addressed every question and confirmed Owen’s responses. Owen’s plea comes with a promised minimum sentence of 1 year up to a maximum of 2 years in prison and 2 years of parole, plus a fine, mandatory surcharge, DNA registry and fee and a waiver of appeal.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Tantillo stated the plea was acceptable because Owen was “less culpable that the principal defendant, Mr. Zadul.”

Buchanan was charged identically to Owen and is to appear June 30.

Zadul, who is a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, pled not guilty to numerous charges from the incident; two counts of 2nd degree criminal possession of a weapon (class C felony), three counts of 3rd degree criminal possession of a weapon (class D felony), unlawfully fleeing police, resisting arrest, DWAI by drugs, 3rd degree aggravated unlicensed operation, and speeding. He faces further charges for the drugs found in the vehicle, pending lab results for analysis and weight. He is due in court Aug. 11.

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Source: The Steuben Courier Advocate by John Christensen