Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — A former Brunner Inc. employee was sentenced Monday to a state prison sentence for grand larceny of materials taken from the Medina manufacturing plant.
Joseph Vasquez, a Medina resident, was sentenced by Judge James Punch to 1 1/2 to 3 years in prison and required to pay $5,000 in restitution to Brunner. He was one of four Brunner employees charged in 2011 with stealing carbide, a valuable metal with industrial applications, and selling it for scrap.
Punch said the sentencing was mandatory due to Vasquez’s status as a second-felony offender. Vasquez, a native of New York City, spent 10 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter before moving to Orleans County and starting a new life.
“I’m losing everything I tried to build ... I turned my life around,” said Vasquez, who expressed that he had taken materials that were being thrown away, a belief that District Attorney Joe Cardone refuted.
“If I had known it was wrong I wouldn’t have done it,” Vasquez told Punch.
“You are held to a higher standard, your record controls this sentence,” Punch said a moment later.
Cardone said Tuesday that Vasquez was the last of the four Brunner employees charged to be sentenced, with the others receiving lighter penalties. Vasquez was accused of taking the most carbide, which sells for as much as $10 per lb.
Also sentenced in County Court Monday was Miguel Ortiz, who received a one-year sentence in state prison and one-year of post-release supervision for criminal sale of a controlled substance.
Ortiz, 75, was arrested in July after an Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force investigation into the sale of prescription drugs in Medina. More than 200 pills were found in his car after a traffic stop.
Ortiz, who last had a felony conviction in 1989, requested that the sentence be a release with community supervision, which had the support of his church. But Punch did not agree.
“I know I have committed this crime and have committed crimes in the past,” Ortiz said through an interpeter. “God has forgiven me.”
• Cardone extended a plea offer Monday to the two Medina men charged with arson, mischief, endangerment and assault stemming from a Sept. 12 fire.
Edward Schneider and Christopher Swan were offered a plea to fourth-degree arson for setting a fire that destroyed a Ridge Road house.
Cardone said a neighbor observed both men leaving the house after setting the fire, which Cardone noted Swan admitted to in a statement to police. His account matches the county fire examiner’s report, Cardone added.
• Scott Davis was sentenced to 45 days in County Jail and five years of probation Monday. Davis was charged in June with selling morphine and hydrocodone pills.
“I’m truly sorry,” Davis said.