3 plead guilty to drug crimes in Orleans County
ALBION – Three people admitted to drug crimes on Monday in Orleans County Court.
• Dale M. Jones, 47, of Rochester admitted he had cocaine with the intent to sell it in Orleans County on June 21. He pleaded guilty on Monday to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.
Because he is a second felony offender, Jones could have faced a maximum of 4 years in state prison. However, as part of a plea deal, he will face a maximum of three years in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 18. He also has to pay $150 restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.
• Two other defendants were approved for a judicial diversion program. If they complete drug treatment and stay off drugs, they will see the felony charges dismissed and instead be sentenced to probation.
Charles J. Knapp, 48, of Medina was arrested on March 1 after an investigation into the sale and distribution of prescription pills (Aprazolam).
He pleaded guilty on Monday to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. As a first-time felony offender, Knapp would face a maximum of 1 to 2 ½ years in state prison.
However, if he completes the diversion program, the felony would be dismissed and he would be sentenced to misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, which carries a maximum of three years on probation.
“It’s an intense program,” Sara Sheldon, interim County Court judge, told Knapp about the diversion program.
He will be on interim probation. He also has to pay $100 restitution to the Task Force.
Cynthia Lopez-Lopez, 39, of Brockport also was accepted into the diversion program. She was arrested in April after allegedly selling suboxone in Albion. She pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, which carries a maximum of 1 to 2 ½ years in prison as a first-time felon. However, if she completes the diversion program, the felony will be dismissed and she will be sentenced to a misdemeanor drug crime with up to three years of probation.
“If you fail at the program you’re looking at state prison,” Judge Sheldon told Lopez-Lopez.
She also has to pay $40 restitution to the Task Force.
• The judge also set an Oct. 16 hearing to consider the diversion program for a Medina man with past felony crimes.
Russell E. Sargent, 50, faces several felony drug charges after he allegedly sold cocaine and prescription pills in August.
District Attorney Joe Cardone said he opposes the diversion program for Sargent, given his past criminal history.
• The judge also arraigned Michael E. McKee, 30, of Cazenovia for aggravated felony driving while intoxicated, and two counts of felony DWI.
McKee was charged on July 14 in Carlton and had a 0.29 percent Blood Alcohol Content, more than three times the legal limit. The judge kept bail at $2,000 and took McKee’s driver’s license while the case is pending.