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Bethel Man Receives Life Sentence as Persistent Felon

March 1, 2012

Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell announced today that Richard Grillo, age 51, of Bethel, N.Y. was sentenced in Sullivan County Court to 25 years to life for his conviction for possession of thousands of dollars of stolen property.

Grillo was convicted by a jury, after about three hours of deliberations, of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 3rd Degree, a class D felony, and two counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th Degree, both class A misdemeanors in Sullivan County Court on December 12, 2011.

Farrell said the evidence showed that on April 16, 2011, Grillo was found in possession of thousands of dollars of stolen jewelry and other property taken from three different residential burglaries.

Grillo fled the residence after arrival by Sheriff’s detectives and was sought by multiple agencies and arrested on Long Island. The burglaries occurred from April 2, 2011 through April 16, 2011 at homes on Mongaup Rd. in Thompson, and Lt. Brender Highway and Plank Rd. in Bethel.

Grillo has a lengthy criminal history, including numerous convictions for multiple home burglaries, multiple criminal possessions of stolen property, prowling at night, receiving stolen property and attempted criminal possession of a loaded stolen firearm, dating back to 1977.

Farrell said his office filed a persistent felony offender statement and succeeded in having Grillo treated as a “three strikes and you’re out” serial criminal offender. Under New York law, any person who has two prior felony convictions for which state prison sentences were imposed faces a life sentence on their next felony conviction.

“This statute was designed for career criminals like Grillo. His life has been one crime after another, one felony after another, one victim after another, and now, today, with this sentence, his life of crime has come to a screeching halt. Grillo is nothing more than a serial felon who continually violates the law, in this case he possessed stolen property from three different recently burglarized homes in this county, and I feel very strongly that he is exactly the type of offender who deserves this harsh treatment. Since 1981, Grillo has been nearly continuously incarcerated or committing new offenses. Never again will he victimize the innocent, or disrupt their lives and destroy their peace and security”, Farrell said.

Grillo also faces pending Burglary and theft charges in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The case was investigated by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office.