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Two Charged in Smokes for Less Robbery

Published: 11/30/2016

For More Information Contact:

Captain John Watterson

The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of two people in connection with the robbery at the Smokes for Less in the Town of LaGrange during the early afternoon of 11/29/16.

Michael J. Sanfilippo (age 38 of Pleasant Valley) Jessica L. Merck (age 27 of Cottekill NY)

Michael J. Sanfilippo (age 38 of Pleasant Valley) and Jessica L. Merck (age 27 of Cottekill NY) have each been charged with one count of Robbery in the 1st Degree, which is a felony. Both are accused of taking part in the robbery, during which cash and cigarettes were stolen after the clerk was threatened with a baseball bat. A short time later the pair were stopped by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police and interviewed at the Sheriff’s Office, and were then taken into custody at the conclusion of the interviews. The stolen property totals approximately $ 1,182 in cash and cigarettes, the clerk was not struck with the bat and no one was hurt during the robbery. 

After being processed both defendants were arraigned before the Town of LaGrange Court, after which they were remanded to the Dutchess County Jail – Mr. Sanfilippo on no bail and Ms. Merck on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond. The investigation is continuing to determine if either defendant may be connected to other similar incidents in Dutchess County, and more information may be released as it becomes available. 

If anyone has any information on this robbery or other similar crimes in Dutchess County they are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 845-486-3820, and ask for Detective Harris. The Sheriff’s Office can also be contacted via the tipline at 845-605-CLUE (2583) or email at, and all tips will be kept confidential.

As with any criminal case the charges described above are merely accusations and both defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.