Dennis Drew of Belchertown sentenced to state prison for selling rock crusher he did not own, threatening trooper
NORTHAMPTON — A Belchertown man characterized as a “swindler” and a “schemer” by prosecutors was convicted Monday of selling a rock crusher he did not own and threatening a state trooper investigating the allegation.
Dennis A. Drew, 53, of Belchertown, was sentenced by Hampshire Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford to 3 to 4 years in state prison after the judge found him guilty Monday of larceny over $250, misleading a police investigation, and threatening a state trooper.
According to First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne who prosecuted the case, Drew sold an industrial rock crusher that belonged to a Conway businessman for $130,000 to the owner of a business in Connecticut.
The Conway businessman was not aware that Drew had sold the crusher, but believed he had advertised it for sale as he had done for other pieces of equipment, according to the district attorney’s office. Drew ran a business in Belchertown, D.A.D. Sales and Leasing.
Drew told conflicting stories to police about the whereabouts of the crusher and challenged the lead trooper investigating the case to a fistfight, which he declined, the prosecution said.
Drew previously was placed on probation after pleading guilty to selling other pieces of heavy equipment that did not belong to him, and failing to return investors’ deposits in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
One of the conditions of his probation was to refrain from dealing in heavy equipment sales, according to the district attorney’s office.
Gagne told Ford that Drew had not learned from his prior convictions and likened his crimes, on a lesser scale, to those of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.
Drew will remain on probation after his eventual release from prison until approximately 2025.