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Rochester man gets 5 years in prison for selling fentanyl

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 December 2018 at 2:51 pm

ALBION – A Rochester man was sentenced to five years in state prison today for his role in selling an extremely lethal fentanyl that resulted many overdoses in Orleans County.

Giovanni M. Serrano, 19, previously pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. As part of a plea agreement, he faced a maximum of six years in prison.

Serrano apologized for selling the drug.

“I’m sorry for my actions,” he told Sanford Church, the County Court judge. “I have a bad drug problem and I was trying to support my habit.”

Serrano also needs to pay $1,400 in restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, as well as a $300 court surcharge, $25 crime victims fee and $50 DNA sampling fee.

He also will be on post-release supervision for two years.

A codefendant in the case was given a youthful offender adjudication and his record will be sealed. The man, who just turned 19, was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison, plus a one of post-release supervision.

That person, whose name shouldn’t be publicized for being a youthful offender, admitted he had been selling drugs for two years. He didn’t know he had sold fentanyl. He said he thought it was heroin.

His attorney, Joseph Damelio, said the young man was influenced by older people close to him that were selling drugs.

“He was a product of what was going on around him,” Damelio told the judge.

The defendant has already served seven months in the county jail. He recently passed his GED and “has a willingness to change.”

In other sentencings in court today:

• An Albion man was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for driving while intoxicated. He was charged on July 26 in the Village of Albion with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.19 percent after getting into an accident with another vehicle.

Jason Perry, 36, has prior DWIs in 2014 and 2015, as well as driving while ability impaired in 2010.

“He has certainly at this point graduated himself to state prison,” said Joe Cardone, the Orleans County district attorney.

He said Perry has arrests in Washington state and Pennsylvania.

Joanne Best, the public defender, said Perry is very remorseful. She asked for weekends in jail and probation for Perry so he could continue working.

He was also fined $1,000, and must pay a $250 assessment annually for three years, do 60 days of community service, pay a $300 court surcharge, $195 DWI surcharge and $25 crime victims fee.

• An inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility was sentenced to 1 ½ to 3 years in state prison after pleading guilty to attempted prison contraband in the first degree. Shannon Wilson had her husband bring a controlled substance to the prison on May 5.

Ridge A. Forrest, 27, of Harford in Cortland County was sentenced to five years of probation for trying to bring Suboxone into the Albion Correctional Facility in March 5.

He pleaded guilty to attempted promoting prison contraband in the fifth degree, a charge that carries a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Forrest brought the suboxone to the prison after his wife complained she needed the painkiller. Forrest isn’t allowed to visit her for two years, the Department of Corrections said.

Judge Church allowed Forrest to avoid jail so he could keep his job and continue supporting his son and also Forrest’s mother.

Forrest also needs to perform 40 hours of community service, and $375 for a court surcharge, crime victims fee and DNA fee.

Jazmond Brady, 29, of Albion was sentenced to five years of probation for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. He was charged in May for allegedly selling crack cocaine in Orleans County.

He already served four months in the county jail.

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