ALBION – A Houston, Texas man was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Orleans County Court Judge James Punch on Monday.
Daniel Guzman and a co-defendant were arrested on June 17 for trying to smuggle a kilo of cocaine from Texas into Orleans County. It was the largest cocaine seizure in Orleans County history.
As part of a plea deal, Guzman, 29, faced up to 7 years in state prison. Punch gave Guzman the maximum.
A co-defendant, Luis Alberto Sanchez-Garza, 31, of Mexico has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing on June 5.
Both men pleaded guilty to criminal possession of controlled substance in the second degree.
Law enforcement searched a vehicle on June 17 after getting a warrant. Police heard from an informant that Guzman and Sanchez-Garza were allegedly bringing the cocaine to Orleans County.
Police, including the Albion K9, searched the vehicle that was stopped on East Avenue in Albion and found 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine hidden in the engine compartment.
District Attorney Joe Cardone praised law enforcement for intercepting the cocaine, which was targeted for sale in Orleans County. Getting the drug off the street spared the community some misery from the drug, Cardone said.
In two other sentencings:
• A Gaines resident who was facing a felony weapons charge was spared going to jail.
John P. Klotzbach, 66, of Ridge Road pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, which could have included a year in the county jail.
Punch said Klotzbach doesn’t have a serious criminal history. The judge gave Klotzbach a one-year conditional discharge where he is not allowed to have firearms or ammunition. Klotzbach must also pay a $200 court curcharge and $50 DNA fee.
In a previous court appearance, Klotzbach admitted he had a shortened shotgun on May 20, 2016. The judge asked Klotzbach is the gun was operable, and Klotzbach said it was.
Klotzbach was charged about a year ago following an investigation by the Task Force, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.
Klotzbach allegedly attempted to purchase a shotgun and refused to complete the required ATF form 4473 for the federal background check and was subsequently denied the purchase.
Several days later, a female acquaintance allegedly went into the gun store and wanted to purchase the same gun that Klotzbach attempted to buy. The gun store owner became suspicious when he noticed the woman was riding in the same vehicle as Klotzbach, as well as attempting to purchase the same gun that Klotzbach wanted. The store owner then contacted law enforcement authorities.
• A Kent resident was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree.
Daniel Flanagan, 31, of Bills Road was given the maximum sentence as part of a plea deal. He admitted he had been drinking alcohol when he was stopped Dec. 7, 2013 on East State Street in Albion. Flanagan registered a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.23 percent and also was driving without a license.
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