Among the past week's headlines: several updates to the cases of the recent alleged rape/armed robbery and meth lab fire, along with charges for a local man potentially involved in a reported drug ring. Check out these and other big headlines from this week:
Defendant in Stony Brook Rape Case Pleads Not Guilty
The 20-year-old East Moriches man charged in the Stony Brook rape and armed robbery case pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to a 10-count grand jury indictment that included charges of rape, predatory sexual assault, criminal use of a firearm and more. Police say Patrick O'Sullivan entered a home in Stony Brook through an unlocked door with a .22 caliber rifle in his possession, sexually assaulted a woman inside the home and left with computers and a camera on Nov. 20. Police confirmed the incident took place on Nov. 30, 10 days after the incident allegedly took place, and made an arrest on Dec. 1.
South Setauket Man Arrested in Relation to Reported Drug Ring
A South Setauket man pleaded not guilty on Monday to felony drug and conspiracy charges after prosecutors reportedly said he was involved in a drug ring spanning across Northern Brookhaven. Johnny Vargas, 30, stands charged with one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as conspiracy in the fourth degree, all felonies. He is also charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a misdemeanor. According to court records, he remains held on $150,000 cash or $300,000 bail and is due back in court on Dec. 21.
Cops: Alleged Meth Lab Fire Was Isolated Incident
One week after a man was arrested following a fire in what appeared to be a methamphetamine lab in a home in Stony Brook, Suffolk police are saying it is an isolated incident. Deputy inspector Kevin Fallon said in a statement to Patch that while the police are still awaiting final laboratory results, this kind of incident is a rare occurance. "Fortunately, methamphetamine, 'meth,' use in Suffolk County is not a major issue," he said. "Isolated instances have occurred."
Makarius Jr. Earns Fire Commissioner Seat
James Makarius Jr. was elected to the Board of Setauket Fire District Commissioners on Tuesday night. Makarius earned 171 votes in Tuesday's election, defeating Lawrence Germano III, who earned 86 votes. He works in the fire safety division at Stony Brook University, and has a total of 19 years of firefighting experience.
Community Leaders: SBU Should Consider Re-Forming 'Community Advisory Council'
A handful of community leaders in Three Village are saying they believe the Stony Brook University administration should re-establish the "Community Advisory Council," a group launched by a former Stony Brook president.
Three Village School Officials Respond to Connecticut Shooting
Friday's shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, that killed 20 students has school officials in Three Village reassuring parents that there are emergency management plans and security procedures are in place. "We are continuing to follow the emergency management procedures as outlined in our safety plan and continue to work closely with our building administration to ensure that security and safety protocols are being followed," the district said in a statement on its website. "In the wake of this event, we will be disseminating further communications regarding our emergency management protocols early next week to district families."