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Falsified Machete Chase Leads to Meth Lab Bust

Local News

Yesterday, (July 14) at 3:15am City Police were called to a wooded area near Front Street in Cortland.

(Google Maps. Front Street, City of Cortland, NY)

Veronica Dennison (23) and Hailey Rawson (19) reported that while they were fishing, a tattoo covered man wielding a machete, hatchet, and a 12 gauge pump action shotgun approached and threatened them.

Then according to the women, they fled the area towards the railroad tracks where another woman joined in the chase, also wielding a machete. With said machete, the woman created sparks along the railroad tracks, yelling threats at Dennison and Rawson.

Returning to their original investigation, police were provided with written statements from Dennison, Rawson.

A statement was also given by Allen Norwalk (23) who was determined to have accompanied the women.

Inconsistencies between their stories revealed that the entire chase was falsified.  All three were not telling the truth, according to City Police.

Dennison, Rawson and Norwalk were charged with offering a false instrument for filing and are scheduled to appear August 14th.


This report led City Police to investigate the area of Front Street, where they found Thomas Joseph (24) with a backpack. Due to it being suspicious for Joseph being in the area, the investigation found his backpack contained an expended one pot meth lab as well as other meth manufacturing materials and equipment.

The NYS Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team was notified and they removed the hazardous meth making materials.

Joseph has charged with unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine in the 2nd Degree, felony.

This is after a recent release 4 weeks ago from State prison, where Joseph spent time for a previous manufacturing methamphetamine conviction. NYS parole issued a warrant for Joseph and he is in their custody.

Information on Joseph’s next appearance is unavailable, but he is currently being held in a State prison facility.

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