2 are sentenced to county jail

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2016 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Two people will spend time in Orleans County Jail after being sentenced this afternoon by Judge James Punch.

Stuart J. Rodden, 26, of Medina was sentenced to weekends in jail for the next year. He could have spent more time in jail but Punch said Rodden has a full-time job and has taken responsibility.

He warned Rodden if he shows up at jail under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the sentence will be a solid year in jail or more.

“Don’t make me out to be a fool,” the judge told Rodden today.

Rodden faced charges of violating probation, driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. He was arrested on Aug. 7 following the investigation of a motor vehicle accident with an unregistered dirtbike on South Lyndonville Road (Route 63) in the Town of Ridgeway.

“I’m not the same person,” Rodden told Punch during sentencing. “I do work hard. I’ve made mistakes but I’ve grown tremendously in this process.”

Rodden’s attorney Ben Bonargio said Rodden has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and has received treatment.

In another sentencing today, a Lyndonville man was sentenced to 45 days in jail plus 5 years of probation. David Tower, 36, of Cape Drive faced charges of growing cannabis and criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree.

Marijuana plants seized at Tower’s yard weighed more than 6 pounds at a lab in Niagara County.

Punch said he and the local court system won’t look the other way with marijuana crimes.

“You need to understand and accept our job is to enforce the law and marijuana is against the law,” Punch told Tower during sentencing. “I and the district attorney don’t have the right to pick and choose which laws to enforce.”