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Watertown man charged in auto theft at Turning Stone Casino

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A man who police say is lucky to be alive was jailed Thursday after he was found in a car stolen early Tuesday at Turning Stone Casino in Oneida County.

Jaun C. Benedict, 26, of 1014 State St., Apt. 4, was admitted to Samaritan Medical Center on Tuesday evening after he was suffering from an apparent drug overdose in a 2008 Hyundai Entourage that was parked at Cheney Tire, 839 State St., police said. His companion, an unidentified 26-year-old woman, made the 911 call, which a police detective said “possibly saved his life.”

Following his discharge from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Benedict was arrested on two felony counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Police said the car he occupied is owned by Nicolas and Monique Cortes of Oneida and had been reported stolen to state police. He also possessed a credit card belonging to Mrs. Cortes, police said.

City Judge Eugene R. Renzi sent him to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, with bail set at $5,000. Mr. Benedict also faces in City Court charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession, lodged Nov. 23 by city police.

Mr. Benedict spent about two years in prison after being convicted of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in July 2007 in Jefferson County Court.

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