NORWICH – At Chenango County Court, an accused heroin dealer, an alleged check forger, and convicted felon were all sentenced on Dec. 9. Also, a man accused of grand larceny rejected a plea bargain and requested a jury trial on Dec. 16.
• Christopher R. Cox, 32, Utica, was charged with the class C felony of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. Cox is a second felony drug offender and was in drug and alcohol treatment when he was on parole. He is currently incarcerated in the Chenango County Correctional Facility for the present charge.
Cox changed his plea from not guilty to guilty and testified that he knowingly and unlawfully attempted to sell heroin on May 24 in Sherburne. He had been selling heroin in Chenango County for little more than a month when he was arrested. He sold 35 bags a week on average.
“Who brought you here to sell drugs? Were you invited or did someone send you here?” asked District Attorney Joseph McBride to Cox.
“I was working and lost my job. I drove someone else to Chenango County to sell drugs. I did not know about Chenango County until someone else brought me here. When I lost my job, I got into it myself,” answered Cox to McBride.
“We have a serious problem here in Chenango County with heroin addiction in our young people. You cannot be bringing heroin to this county. Just like you wouldn’t want someone bringing heroin to your block, we don’t want it here. You will have some time away from Chenango County and Onieda County, where you are from, to think about what you have done.” said McBride to Cox.
Cox looked directly at McBride as he spoke. “I don’t know you personally, I don’t know you from Adam. The police have said that you cooperated with them when you were arrested. If you come back to Chenango County and sell drugs, I will make sure you go back to prison for life.”
Before sentencing, Judge Frank B. Revoir, Jr. asked Cox if he would like to say anything on his own behalf.
“I understand what Mr. McBride is saying about me selling drugs. My only concern during this whole, entire process is how five years is justified for the amount I had on me. I only had 2 bags,” said Cox.
“That is close to the minimum you can receive, because of your prior violent felony,” explained McBride to Cox.
“That is also what I explained to my client, Judge. That is absolutely correct,” said public defender, John Cameron.
“That is correct, Mr. Cox. If you were to be convicted of the minimum as a second felony offender, the minimum determinate sentence was six to 15 years. You received a lesser felony with a lesser sentence. You should be appreciate what your lawyer has done,” confirmed Revoir.
He added, “You had just done six years in state prison. You were convicted of burglary second, which was a plea down from a burglary first. You were on parole as well. This is an agreed upon disposition. I don’t have anything to add, other than you will have time to think about what you have done. I wish you success and hope when you come out, you are productive law-abiding citizen. That is everyone’s hope in this situation.”
Cox received a sentence of five years in prison and one year post-release supervision.
Cox requested to have his cell phone given back to him, before being taken out of the courtroom back to jail. “The i-phone was mine; the other two phones are not mine,” said Cox.
McBride and Revoir said that they would make sure he was given his cell phone back.
• Adam E. Stone, 30, Sherburne, was charged with the class D felony of forgery in the second degree. Mr. and Mrs. Stone, who are also the victims in the case, came to court to support their son and sat in the back of the courtroom.
Stone changed his plea of not guilty to guilty and testified that on Feb. 22, 2013 at the Big M Supermarket in Sherburne, he – with intent – did attempt to defraud or deceive an individual by falsely issuing a written instrument. Stone admitted that he forged his father, James E. Stone's signature on an NBT check and cashed the check in the amount of $200.
“Judge, he was arrested a few times before this case. That included ripping off his parents. His parents are giving him another chance to prove himself to them and the community,” said McBride and then turned to Stone to speak to him.
“If you use heroin and hang out with the wrong people, you are going to continue to get into trouble. If you hang out with good people and do what you are supposed to do, you will be successful. Do you promise me you will do that?”
“Yes, sir. I promise,” answered Stone to McBride.
“Judge, we need a B order of protection for the parent. They don't want him to cause any problems. If he messes up again, they will want a permanent order of protection, as part of the disposition.
Stone received five years probation. One of the conditions of his probation is to complete drug and alcohol treatment and another is to pay restitution of $3,000 to his parents.
“Should you fail to comply and violate the terms of probation, you can be re-sentenced to that maximum one and one-third to seven years in prison,” said Revoir to Stone.
“I just want to thank you. I appreciate it, for giving me a chance for drug court and probation,” said Stone to Revoir...