3 sentenced to state prison for crimes in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 October 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Three people were sentenced to state prison today by Orleans County Court Judge James Punch.

Two people, a Medina woman and Rochester man, were sentenced for drug crimes, while an Albion man was sentenced for felony driving while intoxicated.

Jeremy Smith, 30, of Lydun Drive in Albion received the longest sentence at 1 to 3 years in state prison for driving under the influence of alcohol and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty on July 13 to felony DWI.

He admitted in court to DWI and driving without a license on Jan. 19, 2015, when he was in an accident while driving. He said he had been drinking beer before the accident. Smith has a prior felony DWI in 2006 and a prior misdemeanor DWI in 2002.

He could have faced up to 4 years in state prison, but received a reduced sentence as part of a plea deal.

His attorney, Dominic Saraceno, said Smith has struggled with alcohol since he was 13.

“He’s had a problem with alcohol since he was 13,” Saraceno said during sentencing. “It has pretty much destroyed his life.”

Punch said Smith not only was driving drunk, but was in an accident, refused a Breathalyzer test and marijuana was at the scene.

“Alcohol hasn’t destroyed your life but it has pretty much screwed it up at this point,” Punch said. “You’re a young man. You have a lot of years ahead of you.”

The judge revoked Smith’s driver’s license for a year and ordered that he pay a $520 court surcharge and $50 DNA fee.

“I hope you can figure out a way to stop drinking,” Punch told Smith at the sentencing.

In other sentencings in County Court today:

A Medina woman was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison. Judge Punch recommended that Erika Poole, 34, of Church Street, serve her time at the Willard Drug Treatment Center, a specialized state prison in Romulus, Seneca County.

Poole pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of controlled substance in the fifth degree, which has a maximum sentence of 2 years. Judge Punch gave her less than the maximum today.

Her attorney, Christopher Rodeman, said Poole has struggled with drug use.

“It’s very apparent she has engaged in this type of lifestyle due to her substance abuse problems and she is in dire need of treatment,” Rodeman said at sentencing.

Punch said he would recommend the State Department of Corrections give Poole the treatment program at Willard.

He told Poole she has a history of committing serious crimes, and she has handled herself with some arrogance during court proceedings.

“Arrogance is the enemy of change,” the judge told her. “If you want to change you need a touch of humility.”

A Rochester man was sentence to 1 ½ years in state prison for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth, a crime with a maximum of 2 years in prison.

Kenneth Thompson, 49, of Dale Street was charged with criminal sale and possession of drugs in Orleans County in early 2014.

Thompson said in court he has lost a family member to drugs.

“I decided not to touch drugs again,” he told the judge during sentencing.

Punch said Thompson has a “bad record” with prior crimes. The judge said he believed Thompson was sincere in wanting to avoid future drug activity.

“Think of the thousands of people who have died from drugs,” Punch said. “Maybe it will save your life.”