GENESEO – Three shady peddlers from Buffalo were arrested by Geneseo Police for traffic, drug and court violations after numerous complaints poured in from locals who found their sales tactics pushy and suspicious.
According to a press release from Geneseo Police Chief Eric Osganian, Ronald Blair, 34, was arrested for Unregistered Motor Vehicle, Improper Plates, Operating without Insurance and Uninspected Motor Vehicle, Raphael Seabury, 30, was wanted by the Oneonta Police Department for Failure to Appear, and Dashawn Gill, 22, was arrested for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana.
“Blair and Gill came into the Village building to fill out a solicitor’s registration form, and sometimes people see that form and think the solicitor must be legit,” said Chief Osganian. “That’s really not true. All the form does is let us know the peddlers are here, their name and address, the name and address of their company, their supervisor’s name, and what dates they expect to be in the village. There’s no vetting process for the business itself. It’s good that people are alert and report suspicious activity to us.”
Officer Benjamin Swanson stopped a vehicle on Oct. 6 on Highland Road for having switched plates. The vehicle had Maryland plates, which belonged to another vehicle. The driver, Blair, was found to have no valid insurance and a bad inspection sticker. Seabury was wanted for a bench warrant out of Oneonta, but the Oneonta Police Department said that they did not want to extradite him, and he was released. Gill was found to be in possession of marijuana.
Blair and Gill had completed a solicitor’s registration form in the Village Office to solicit in the Village of Geneseo in the name of Family Energy. Geneseo Police received numerous complaints on the business during the week of Oct. 5, which included requesting personal information from residents and high-pressure sales tactics.
Chief Osganian added that once they leave town, locating a solicitor comes with its own host of challenges.
“A lot of solicitors are transient, so once they leave it can be difficult to find them again,” said Chief Osganian. “In come cases we’ve found folks in Syracuse and beyond after they were reported in Geneseo.”
Chief Osganian added that at the time of the publication of the Village’s codes, peddling regulations were and remain technically ‘under review,’ and there are therefore no restrictions on door-to-door peddling. The solicitor’s registration form is a one-page form to advise the Village of peddlers’ basic information and what they are selling, but the Village does not automatically investigate businesses that register to solicit.