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Cops: Music teacher sold school instruments for drug money

March 20, 2014

A Livingston County music teacher has been accused of stealing dozens of musical instruments from her school and selling them for drug money, New York State Police said Wednesday.

Danielle Conner-Willowglade, 30, of Greece who allegedly told troopers that she stole at least 50 instruments from the Keshequa Central School District in Nunda in the last year and sold them to pawn shops in Monroe County because she needed cash for heroin, said Trooper Mark O'Donnell.

She was charged this week with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, both felonies, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, troopers said.

A music teacher at Keshequa's elementary, middle and high schools, O'Donnell said Conner-Willowglade was allegedly taking instruments from the school for quite some time. State Police Investigator Chris Burns said Conner-Willowgate told troopers she had been taking instruments from her employer since at least June.

She was stopped while driving north on Interstate 390 near Geneseo earlier this month and a trooper noticed she was acting "out of sorts" and had a tuba - not held in any sort of instrument case - in the back seat of her car, O'Donnell said. She reportedly told the trooper that she was headed to Rochester with the tuba in connection to her profession.

State Police investigated her claim and contacted her employer, which has assisted with the investigation.

Burns said troopers have been investigating Conner-Willowglade since October, first in connection with drug use.

Twelve instruments and her district-issued computer, all school property, have been recovered from area pawn shops, he said.

Her boyfriend Nicholas Bump, 32, of Henrietta was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in connection with the incident, troopers said.

Bump has been accused of assisting Conner-Willowglade, allegedly accompanying her to Monroe County pawn shops or going in her place, according to State Police.

Additional charges are pending against the pair. Troopers continue to investigate.


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