Several are sentenced to jail or prison for drug crimes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Medina man, 74, gets a year in county jail

ALBION – Orleans County Court Judge James Punch sentenced several drug criminals to either county jail or state prison today, including a 74-year-old Medina man.

Angel Gonzalez of Ricky Place pleaded guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. He faced a maximum of 2 ½ years in state prison. His attorney, Nathan Pace, asked the judge to keep Gonzalez out of jail or prison due to his age and declining health.

Punch said he doesn’t like to use a defendant’s illness as a reason for avoiding jail. If a defendant is well enough to commit a crime, the judge said the defendant should be able to serve time behind bars.

Gonzalez admitted to selling hydrocodone, his prescribed medication for pain relief, to make money. He has a “disturbing criminal history,” Punch said.

“I don’t think probation is appropriate,” the judge said in handing down a sentence of one year in jail and one year of post-release supervision.

In other cases:

A former resident of West Park Street in Albion was sentenced to a year in state prison with a recommendation from Judge Punch for shock camp.

Tyriek Johnson, 26, now lives in Fairport. He is a first-time offender. He could have been sentenced to up to 9 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third and fifth degrees.

Johnson has his own business and has been respectful in court, his attorney Matthew Parrinello told the judge.

In a previous court appearance, Johnson said he was trying to sell cocaine in Albion on March 14, 2013. He said he was driving on Platt and Ingersoll streets, looking to sell the drug.

Johnson apologized to his family for getting into trouble with the law. He asked the judge for leniency.

“You were heavily involved in the drug trade around here,” Punch told Johnson. “You need to learn some discipline. You made the community a worse place by spreading these toxic substances around here.”

Michael Nellist, 35, of East Center Street in Medina was sentenced to the maximum 1 ½ years in state prison for selling marijuana. He has prior drug and driving while intoxicated charges, the District Attorney’s Office noted.

Nellist has twice been on probation. He was also ordered to pay $1,020 in restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime task Force, money it used for drug buys.

“You have a long record,” Punch said. “You’ve been given breaks in the past but did not take advantage of them.”

A Rochester man was sentenced to three years in state prison. Luke Lawhorn, 27, was arrested on March 6 following a year-long investigation in the sale and distribution of crack cocaine from Rochester to Orleans County.

Lawhorn was only days away from graduating from the Monroe County Drug Court when he was arrested in March.

He apologized to his family and to the community during his sentencing today.

The district attorney requested state prison for Lawhorn, who continued to sell drugs even while in Drug Court, Cardone said.

The judge also ordered Lawhorn to pay back $480 to the Task Force.

A Medina resident was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in state prison for burglary. Levy Hill, 42, admitted he used a brick to break a window at the Kwik Fill in Medina on Sept. 7, 2013. After he broke the window, he reached his hand in and grabbed some merchandise from the business on Pearl Street.

He is a second felony offender. He was also ordered to pay $1,353 in restitution.