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Brooklyn man told to get GED or he faces prison

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CANTON — A Brooklyn man arrested for selling drugs was told this week he has a year to get his GED or he could face up to nine years in state prison.

Joseph A. Peterkin, 32, has been in St. Lawrence County jail for four months and was headed for prison when St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards placed him on a year of interim probation in a deal proposed by County Public Defender Stephen D. Button.

Mr. Peterkin had pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for his March 2013 sale of cocaine to a confidential informant in Ogdensburg.

He has been indicted twice on two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, all felonies. The charges against him were dismissed Oct. 7 when Judge Richards determined that Ogdensburg Police Narcotics Enforcement Detective Daniel C. Mousaw testified to a grand jury about an uncharged crime, which might have swayed the jury to indict Mr. Peterkin.

The grand jury indicted him on the charges a second time on Dec. 20.

During the May 30 crack cocaine raid at 309 Montgomery St., Ogdensburg, that led to Mr. Peterkin’s arrest, police located a 15-year-old boy from North Carolina who had left home without his parents’ knowledge. Police said at the time the teen was brought to Ogdensburg specifically to aid drug sales.

Mr. Peterkin also was wanted for absconding from parole release on a charge of possession of narcotics with intent to sell.

“The police believe that you can’t become a model citizen, but you are going to get the chance,” Judge Richards told Mr. Peterkin on Monday. “Without a doubt, you sell drugs, Mr. Peterkin. Your record fully supports that you should be going to prison today because you are not a drug user, you are a drug dealer. You sell cocaine.”

Mr. Peterkin sought to have his probation transferred back to New York County so he could return home, but Judge Richards shot that down, and told him he was going to be placed in an intensive supervision program by the St. Lawrence County Probation Department.

“You are going to get a job here and you are going to get your GED here,” Judge Richards said.

In addition to being placed on probation, Mr. Peterkin was ordered to pay $200 restitution.

Sentencing was adjourned to Feb. 23.

In other court action Monday:

Sean M. Reid-Frost, 27, of 120 Grove St., Gouverneur, pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in a deal that would satisfy an additional count of third-degree rape, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument.

He allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl on Oct. 20. Police said the teen contracted a sexually transmitted disease as a result.

Reid-Frost’s attorney, Mr. Button, said during his client’s December arraignment that he had been tested for STDs in jail and received negative results. Mr. Button said Reid-Frost’s girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child, was tested as well and tested negative.

As a part of the deal, he will face a maximum of six months in jail and five years’ probation at sentencing. He will have to register as a sex offender.

Sentencing was adjourned to May 5. He was returned to county jail without bail.

Andrew R. Jensen, 19, of 224 Harper Road, Lisbon, was sentenced to one year in county jail and five years’ probation on two separate burglary charges.

Judge Richards told Mr. Jensen that he had been “quite unsuccessful” in completing his original probation sentence. While on his original five-year probation sentence, he was one of eight people arrested in the April 14 burglary of his grandfather’s Colton home, stealing three handguns and nine long guns. Various tools and jewelry also were stolen from the garage and the residence.

In addition to his jail and probation sentence, he was ordered to pay $889.79 in restitution and $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Jose A. Castro-Luzunaris, 26, of Hogansburg, formerly of 437 McCarthy Road, Winthrop, pleaded guilty to a violent felony charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon in a deal that will help him avoid prison.

On the afternoon of April 11, Massena village police found a loaded 9mm handgun in the waistband of Mr. Castro-Luzunaris’s pants. Although the grand jury indictment reported the gun was the property of Andrew Jensen, of Colton, Mr. Castro-Luzunaris said he was asked to hold on to it by Patrick R. Lloyd, the New York City man awaiting sentencing in the attempted kidnapping of a Massena woman in September who has federal drug trafficking charges against him.

No sentencing date was set, as Mr. Castro-Luzunaris will be evaluated for drug treatment in county jail, where he is being held without bail, as a part of a plea deal. If he successfully completes treatment, he faces time in county jail and five years’ probation.

Anthony P. LaRock Sr., 39, of 7 Bishop Ave., Massena, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal contempt and admitted violating his probation.

On June 25, 2012, an order of protection was issued on behalf of Tiffany LaRock, which he violated when he had contact with her on Feb. 7 at her Norfolk residence.

Sentencing is adjourned to May 6. Mr. LaRock was sent back to St. Lawrence County jail without bail.

Keith W. Snyder, 21, of 405 S. Main St., Massena, was sentenced to one year of interim probation following his Jan. 17 guilty plea to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Mr. Snyder sold cocaine in the village of Massena in April.

Judge Richards warned Mr. Snyder, who so far has not complied with the terms and conditions of his probation, that if he violated his probation one more time, he would be facing 2 years in prison.

In addition to his probation, Mr. Snyder was ordered to pay $100 in restitution.

Christopher J. Mitchell, 42, of 774 County Route 53, Brasher Falls, was placed on one year of interim probation after his Jan. 14 guilty plea to felony driving while intoxicated.

Mr. Mitchell had a 0.16 percent blood alcohol content while operating a motorcycle July 27 on Route 11C, town of Lawrence. Under state law, a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is considered proof of intoxication. He previously was convicted of misdemeanor DWI on May 20, 2008, in Brasher Town Court, making this charge a felony.

Sentencing was adjourned to Feb. 23.

Joseph J. Schneller, 32, of 145 Taylor Road, Canton, was sentenced to one year of interim probation after his Jan. 14 guilty plea to felony aggravated DWI.

Mr. Schneller had a 0.23 percent BAC while driving Aug. 30 on Main Street in Potsdam. Aggravated DWI is charged when the BAC is 0.18 percent or higher. He was convicted of misdemeanor DWI in Colton Town Court on May 10, 2010.

Sentencing was adjourned to Feb. 23.

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