Former Watkins Glen Sgt. in Charge indicted for perjury, official misconduct

Northeast News

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – Former Watkins Glen Sgt. in Charge Brandon Matthews has once again been indicted by a Schuyler County Grand Jury.

Matthews was previously arrested on Dec. 3 after an investigation by Yates County District Attorney and Special Prosecutor Todd Casella. A technicality resulted in the charges being dismissed after Matthews was not able to testify on his own behalf to the grand jury, but a new grand jury hearing was held on Friday, Dec. 17 where Matthews was expected to testify.

According to District Attorney Casella, the new indictment charges Matthews with eight counts of perjury in the first degree, a class D felony, and one count of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. The charges in the latest indictment are the same as the original.

Casella tells 18 News that the perjury charges stem from testimony where Matthews allegedly perjured himself concerning a New York State Police investigation. The investigation surrounded the discovery of marijuana on Matthews’ property in the Town of Dix during the summer of 2020.

State Police reported in an affidavit for a search warrant that Barbara Barber, later identified as the girlfriend of Danielle Matthews’ brother Raymond Brown, testified that she saw approximately 200 marijuana plants in a garage owned by the Matthews. Barber stated that Brown and Brandon Matthews allegedly tended to the marijuana plants.

On July 14, 2020, State Police used an infrared camera mounted to a helicopter that flew over the residence, which showed “obvious high heat inside the building” and “hot spots” indicating a marijuana grow operation.

According to the search warrant for the July 29, 2020, raid, police recovered 41 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, marijuana, digital scales, packaging materials, marijuana seeds, and stolen property. The stolen property consisted of digital cameras, chargers and cables, Motorola radio, whistles, assorted MMA equipment, assorted fishing equipment, tent poles, and stakes.

The search warrant consisted of a single-family home, a one car garage, a large pole barn, and a shed.

In October 2020 a grand jury decided not to indict either of the Matthews in connection to the home invasion.

The Schuyler County Grand Jury found that the charges of Criminal Possession of Marihüâña in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree were not justified, and therefore, by this action of the Grand Jury, the invecstigation is closed without charges.

The official misconduct charge alleges Matthews “engaged in a pattern of sleeping on the job while employed by the Watkins Glen Police department from approximately October of 2010 through approximately April of 2018.”

During a deposition, Matthews admitted to “periodically” sleeping while on duty more than 20 times, but could not give an exact number of incidents.

Matthews is scheduled to be arraigned on December 22nd, 2021 at 2:30 pm.

At the time of his first arrest, Brandon Matthews was employed as a police officer by the Watkins Glen Police Department. Matthews was placed on administrative leave in August 2020 and removed as the Sergeant in Charge with the Watkins Glen Police Department in October 2020.

The indictment did not include Brandon Matthews’ wife Danielle Matthews, who was originally charged with two counts of Perjury 1st Degree, and one count of Perjury 3rd Degree. Charges against her were also dismissed due to a technicality. Casella was unable to comment on the status of Danielle Matthews’ case.

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