It was one of the biggest busts ever conducted in the village of Liverpool. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office investigators climaxed a months-long investigation by arresting 32-year-old Robert A. Shaw at his home at 816 Oswego St.
Shaw — whose brushes with the law date back at least 10 years — was charged with 25 felonies, notably for possession of weapons and illegal drugs.
During that day, as undercover detectives surveilled Shaw’s home, several vigilant village residents called in to the Liverpool Police Department complaining about “suspicious cars” parked in the Oswego Street neighborhood.
“The Sheriff’s Office had informed us about what they were doing,” said LPD Sgt. Jerry Unger, “but we were not involved in the arrest, and, of course, we didn’t want to blow their cover.”
Unger said the LPD was aware of Shaw’s presence in the village and had once pulled him over for an alleged traffic violation.
According to the custody record accessed at vinelink.vineapps.com, Shaw’s alias is “Dirty Dick Dan.”
Members of the Sheriff’s Special Investigation Unit recovered significant drug stashes including 46 grams of cocaine, 22 pounds of marijuana and 1.5 grams of ketamine — a pain medication popularly abused at “raves.” Detectives also seized $76,000 in cash.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Det. William Gabriel said the bust was the result of a lengthy investigation into narcotics sales and illegal possession of firearms. Shaw is also suspected of impersonating a police officer in order to commit drug-related robberies.
Members of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigation Unit, Major Crimes Unit, the SWAT team and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, executed state-authorized search warrants at Shaw’s home in the village as well as at a storage facility in the town of Salina.
Shaw had been sentenced to state prison in 2009 and 2016, according to New York State Department of Corrections inmate records. In July 2009, he was sentenced to serve up to four years for second-degree criminal possession of weapon. He was released in April 2014.
Shaw was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison in September 2016 for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon. He was released in August 2018 and shortly thereafter he moved into the village near his brother’s Fifth Street residence.
Because of Shaw’s prior felony convictions, he’s prohibited from possessing firearms, Gabriel said, but investigators recovered an arsenal of weapons, including a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a Spike Tactical AR-15-style rifle, a Stag Arms AR-15-style pistol, a Masterpiece Arms 9mm semi-automatic (UZI) style with a 30-round magazine and an attached silencer, a Braztek International .38 special revolver and a Russian-American Armory Saiga AK-47 rifle.
As of March 7, Shaw remained incarcerated at the Corbett Justice Center in Syracuse. No bail has been set, and his case is expected to be presented to a Grand Jury.
The investigation is continuing, Gabriel said. Anyone who has any information concerning this case should contact Sheriff’s detectives at 315-435-3081.
When I attended SUNY Oswego back in the 1970s, one of the best memories my classmates and I all shared was experiencing the sugary-sweet aroma of fresh chocolate hanging in the air around Fulton, the City with a Future.
The Clay Historical Association will host Jim Farfaglia, author of “Nestlé in Fulton: How Sweet it Was” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Welcome Center at the Clay Historical Park on Route 31. Farfaglia will have his book for sale at this event which is free and open to the public.
Switzerland’s Nestlé Company built its first United States milk-processing plant in 1898 in Fulton, which was surrounded by dairy farms. Soon, another Swiss company, Peter’s, requested space at the Fulton factory to produce a confection that had taken Europe by storm: the milk chocolate candy bar.
Over the next century, factory technicians invented classic treats including the Nestlé Crunch bar, Toll House Morsels and Nestlé Quik. With 1,500 workers churning out 1 million pounds of candy a day, Fulton became known as the city that smelled like chocolate.
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