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3 sentenced to jail or prison for drug crimes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 December 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Three people were sentenced in Orleans County Court today for drug crimes. All three will spend time in either county jail or state prison.

Stephen W. Miles, 51, received the stiffest sentence of 2 years in state prison. Miles admitted in September he had a prescription narcotic, tramadol, and intended to sell it on March 26 from his room in Albion at 175 North Main St., Room No. 12.

He pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 5th degree. He faced a maximum sentence to 2 ½ years in state prison. His attorney, Brian Degnan, said Miles was taken advantage of others in the drug crime, by preying on his low intellect and addictions. Miles was one of 16 people arrested in a April 1 drug raid by local law enforcement.

Miles has committed “a slew of petty larcenies and misdemeanors” in recent years, but has avoided “serious trouble” since the 1980s, his attorney said.

Miles said he has long struggled with drug addiction. He asked County Court Judge James Punch to make sure the sentence includes drug treatment.

“If you do that you’ll probably save my life,” Miles said.

Three of his friends have recently died from drug addictions, Miles said.

Punch said Miles has “a long and consistent criminal history” and has had opportunities for drug treatment. Because Miles admitted his crime, Punch didn’t give him the maximum sentence.

He said Miles and others that sell drugs cause many ruined lives in the community.

“You don’t know who survives and who doesn’t when you sell drugs,” Punch said.

Miles was also ordered to pay $45 in restitution, the cost of the drug buy by law enforcement.


In other sentencings today:

A Medina woman was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison for criminal possession of controlled substance in the 5th degree.

Debra Unell, 52, of Orient Street in Medina admitted in court to trying to sell cocaine. Unell was charged after she allegedly sold cocaine on three occasions between Oct. 3, 2013 and Dec. 11, 2013.

Unell apologized for her actions. Her attorney Nathan Pace said she has health and substance abuse issues. Until her arrests in 2013, she had not committed any crimes for 15 years, Pace told the judge.

Punch said Unell “has a very substantial criminal history” and hasn’t cooperated with agencies trying to help her. Besides the state priosn sentence, Unell was ordered to pay $334 in restitution for the drug buys from law enforcement.

A former Albion resident was sentenced to four months of intermittent jail time, plus five years probation.


Melissa A. Warren, 28, is a first time offender. She admitted she possessed cocaine on March 5 with the intent to sell it.

The former Albion resident now lives in Batavia. She pleaded guilty to CPCS in the fifth degree, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 2 ½ years in state prison.

She apologized to the community, her family and her young son for her crime.

Warren works nearly full-time and the judge said she needs to continue gainful employment. She is to report to the county jail on Monday mornings and will stay until 9 p.m. on Tuesdays for the next four months. She also was ordered to pay $40 restitution.