Northway chase ends with crash, three in custody

Northway chase ends with crash, three in custody

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WILTON — An on-again, off-again high-speed chase from Clinton County to Saratoga County on Monday night ended with a crash and three people under arrest on drug-related charges, according to State Police.

State Police said U.S. Border Patrol had stopped the vehicle in Massena near the Canadian border but the driver fled only to be spotted again 90 miles away on the Northway in Warren County.

Troopers pursued the vehicle from Ellenburg to just south of Plattsburgh before terminating the chase. During the pursuit, the suspect vehicle struck two uninvolved motor vehicles, injuring one person who was transported to Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh with non-life-threatening injuries.

Troopers again spotted the vehicle as it drove south near Exit 23, and the pursuit began anew.

Lewis Espinal


It ended around 5:30 p.m. when the vehicle went off the highway at Exit 16, where it ran out of gas and crashed into a snowbank. Three people who were in the vehicle got out and tried to flee, but troopers were able to get them into custody.

Jerson Norberto


Police said 50 pounds of marijuana and a quantity of oxycodone, an opioid painkiller, were seized.

Charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of unlawful fleeing of a police officer and resisting arrest were the driver, Nelson Reyes, 39, of New York City.

Two passengers, Lewis Espinal, 31, of New York City, and Jerson Norberto, 29, of the Bronx, were charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and for violating parole on earlier felony convictions, police said.

Espinal was also charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance, and Norberto was charged as a fugitive from justice on charges in Rhode Island, police records show.

Reyes was released on his own recognizance, as the charges he faces are no longer eligible for bail in New York.

The other two were sent to Saratoga County Jail without bail later Monday. Norberto each have four prior felony convictions, Norberto for forgery-related crimes, while Lespinal has been convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment and bail jumping, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or


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