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Buffalo man given break in Ogdensburg crack cocaine sales

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CANTON — The third of four Buffalo men charged with crack cocaine sales in Ogdensburg following a drug raid is on interim probation after an apology for his actions, dodging a jail sentence Monday in St. Lawrence County Court.

Andre L. Wilson, 41, pleaded guilty to felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 2.

Mr. Wilson, along with Eldridge Gossom 26, Charles J.H. Caviness, 24, and Tige K. Smith Jr., 25, was arrested Dec. 6 following a raid by Ogdensburg police on an apartment at 325 Belmont Courts. Police said the arrests were the culmination of an ongoing investigation into crack cocaine trafficking.

Mr. Gossom and Mr. Caviness both were sentenced to five years in prison by County Judge Jerome J. Richards. Mr. Smith was scheduled for a hearing Nov. 25 in County Court but did not appear and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Mr. Wilson was facing a similar sentence to his cohorts’, but in court Monday, Judge Richards said Erie County Probation recommended interim probation for Mr. Wilson. Probation officials reported that Mr. Wilson admitted wrongdoing to them and said he had a limited criminal history.

Special prosecutor Nicole M. Duve felt differently. “Mr. Wilson came all the way here from Erie County. This is not a lark and he was indicted with three other people who were all selling the same product.” Ms. Duve said. Shesuggested that Judge Richards consider some kind of incarceration in Mr. Wilson’s sentencing.

“I’m sorry I came here and disrupted the city,” Mr. Wilson said to Judge Richards. “I’ve learned from my actions. I’m really not a bad guy.”

Judge Richards placed him on one year of interim probation and adjourned his sentencing to Feb. 23. If he is successful in his probation, it is anticipated that he will be sentenced to six months in St. Lawrence County jail and five years’ probation. If he is unsuccessful, he faces up to nine years in prison.

In other court action Monday:

Terry L. Bercume, 49, of 250 Main St., Apt. 6, Massena, was placed on one year of interim probation after his Dec. 23 guilty plea to second-degree assault.

Mr. Bercume reportedly pulled a buck knife out of his pocket, opened the blade and threatened Massena Village Police Investigator Jason M. Olson and Patrolmen Christopher D. Flynn and Ian M. Vanier after they had responded to a call at 11:24 a.m. June 7 to check on a man who reportedly was distressed and delusional.

He also reportedly punched Patrolman Vanier during that confrontation, sending the officer to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Investigator Olson was treated for cuts on both hands and Patrolman Flynn suffered a cut on his right hand when the policemen wrestled with Mr. Bercume as they attempted to take him into custody. Court documents indicated officers drew their handguns and a Taser during the confrontation.

Mr. Bercume was facing a prison sentence Monday, but his attorney, Public Defender Stephen D. Button, told Judge Richards that the presentence investigation suggested punishing a man who had a history of mental health problems and only failed to continue taking his medication would be unfair.

Following a bench meeting among Judge Richards, Mr. Button and District Attorney Mary E. Rain, it was agreed that if Mr. Bercume is unsuccessful in his interim probation, he will face seven years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23. In addition to his probation, he was ordered to pay $1,817.06 in restitution and court fees totaling $181.70.

Jeffrey R. Bush, 30, of 105 Lake George Road, Russell, was placed on one year of interim probation after his Dec. 10 guilty plea to aggravated driving while intoxicated.

On March 17, Mr. Bush operated a 2002 Pontiac on Fine Street in Ogdensburg with traces of THC and the muscle relaxant carisoprodol in his system, while he had a 6-year-old and a 10-year-old passenger.

Sentencing was adjourned to Feb. 23.

Gregory M. Lantier, 29, of 1621 County Route 3, Hammond, was released from St. Lawrence County jail by Judge Richards following an order to show cause made by Public Defender Button’s office.

According to the order, the district attorney’s office had 45 days to present a third-degree grand larceny charge against Mr. Lantier to a grand jury and he had been held in jail for 101 days.

Mr. Lantier was released on his own recognizance.

Cody J. Gladle, 18, Edwards, failed to appear in court for his sentencing after a Dec. 20 guilty plea to third-degree burglary, a felony.

At 1:15 a.m. Aug. 22, Mr. Gladle broke into the Last Lap bar in Edwards and stole liquor. He additionally was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana at the time, stemming from a trespassing complaint Aug. 15 in the town of Edwards. His guilty plea satisfied both charges.

Judge Richards issued a warrant for his arrest.

John D. LaTray, 50, of 300 Franklin St., Ogdensburg, was sentenced to two to four years in prison as a second-felony offender after his Dec. 23 guilty plea to felony first-degree criminal contempt in a plea offer with the St. Lawrence County district attorney’s office.

On Oct. 14, Mr. LaTray violated a court order of protection held by Nancy L. Bailey when he punched her in the face, causing injury to her eye.

On Jan. 22, 2008, Judge Richards sentenced Mr. LaTray to 18 months to three years in prison for the conviction on third-degree attempted burglary.

In addition to his sentence, he was ordered to pay $375 in court fees.

Nicholas A. Delosh, 32, Morristown, was sent to St. Lawrence County jail for violating his probation sentence.

Judge Richards sentenced him to three years’ probation in connection with a domestic violence case June 10 for third-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

Mr. Delosh failed to report to probation as directed and failed to pay restitution of $98.63.

Brittani L. Sovie, 21, of 2649 Route 812, DeKalb Junction, was sentenced to one year of interim probation after her Dec. 23 guilty plea to two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Ms. Sovie used two credit cards belonging to George Ruddy, Waddington, that had been stolen from his vehicle’s glove box in late July. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Mario Giacco, 50, Moravia, Cayuga County, was sentenced to two years’ probation following his successful completion of one year of interim probation in connection with a December 2012 guilty plea to one count of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana on Jan. 8, 2012, in the town of Waddington when he was in possession of 4 pounds of marijuana.

Mr. Giacco had his conviction downgraded to misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.Probation supervision was transferred to Cayuga County and Mr. Giacco was ordered to pay court fees totaling $250.

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