176 Fort Drum-based soldiers who are deployed have gotten notices from the New York Attorney General that the company storing their vehicles is now defunct. The good news is, that the company that leased storage space to that company is stepping up to take care of the cars, trucks and motorcycles until the sodiers return to claim them.
The attorney general's office sent notices to the soldiers, and has turned over the keys to Laser Transit, Ltd, a trucking company based in Lacona. Owner George Joyce has ordered his mechanics to check the vehicle, and get them back in running order.
We saw about 40 of them at his facility in Lacona. All were dusty, and some with tags on them indicated they had not been inspected since at least February.
Mechanics were checking and charging batteries and reinflating soft tires, and looking at other issues. Joyce is working to match up records with the cars, to ensure they're returned to the proper owners.
16 of the vehicles have already been released to owners, and in addition to the 40 in storage in Lacona, there are about 100 more in another Laser Transit secure facility in Oswego.
Joyce tells us he has three people working fulltime right now, reaching out to the soldiers and assuring them that something's being done, and working out a system for them to access his information.
The defunct company, Fort Dum Vehicle Storage LLP, was headquartered in Evans Mills, and had also leased storage property in Jefferson County, which ran into financial problems. The company owner, identified as JoAnn Sanchez-Norquist, is believed in Las Vegas.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's staff took possession of files from now defunct Fort Drum Storage LLP last week and say at least 16 vehicles have been returned to owners.
Laser Transit is looking at setting up a website to help owners locate their cars, but the website is not publicly available yet.
The soldiers have been told they can continue to store where the vehicles are, or they can move them to an unsecured facility at Fort Drum, or make their own arrangements. They've been advised to no longer pay the $100 to $150 a month for storage, and were never told their vehicles were moved out of Jefferson County