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Four avoided prison by agreeing to enter Drug Court

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WATERTOWN — Four people avoided prison sentences Thursday in Jefferson County Court by agreeing to enter into the Drug Court program.

Jordan S. Powell, 26, Watertown, pleaded guilty to second-degree forgery and was referred to the substance abuse rehabilitation program that is designed to serve as an alternative to incarceration. He had been accused of signing the name of Douglas R. Cisco, Watertown, on one of Mr. Cisco’s personal checks without his permission and cashing it Carthage Savings and Loan, 146 Arsenal St., on April 22.

If he successfully completes Drug Court, the second-degree forgery conviction, a felony, will be vacated and he will be allowed to plead guilty to third-degree forgery, a misdemeanor. He would then be sentenced to three years’ probation and be ordered to pay $175 in restitution. If he is unsuccessful, the felony conviction will stand and he will be sentenced to 2½ to 5 years in prison. He would also have to pay restitution.

Sarah J. Kampnich, 35, Watertown, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and admitted violating probation by committing the new crime. She had been charged with entering the town of Rutland residence of Dale Bauter on May 19 with the intent to commit a crime. At the time she was serving five years’ probation imposed in February 2013 for a conviction on a charge of third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance.

If she is successful in Drug Court, the felony conviction will be withdrawn and she will be allowed to plead guilty to petit larceny, a misdemeanor. She would then be sentenced to three years’ probation. If she is unsuccessful, she faces a two- to four-year prison sentence.

Samuel N. Royston, 27, Watertown, admitted violating probation and was referred to Drug Court. He was serving five years’ probation imposed in June 2013 for convictions on two counts of third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Information about what led to the probation violation was not available from the court. If Mr. Royston successfully completes Drug Court, the probation violation will be withdrawn and he will be restored to probation. If he is unsuccessful, he will be sentenced to two years in state prison, followed by an additional two years of supervision upon his release.

Jessica L. Prashaw, 34, whose last known address was in Gouverneur, admitted violating probation and was referred to Drug Court. Information about what lead to the violation was not available from the court as her probation supervision had been transferred into the county from St. Lawrence County.

If she completes Drug Court, her probation violation will be withdrawn and she will be restored to probation. If not, she will be sentenced to two years in prison, followed by two years’ post-release supervision.

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