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St. Regis Falls man found guilty on cocaine sale charge

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FORT COVINGTON - A St. Regis Falls man was found guilty of multiple felony drug counts Friday in Franklin County Court.

A jury found Ritchie DeCarr, 59, guilty of one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was acquitted of one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

DeCarr possessed cocaine with the intent to sell it on a first occasion last year and on a later occasion sold the drug and possessed it with the intent to sell.

District Attorney Derek Champagne said the first occasion involved a confidential informant going to DeCarr’s house to purchase cocaine. DeCarr was acquitted of the sale count in this instance because he could not be clearly heard on an audio recording.

“He had just freebased cocaine, which had made him unable to speak,” Mr. Champagne said.

DeCarr’s attorney, Edward Narrow of Syracuse, said he was satisfied with the jury’s decision to find reasonable doubt in this instance and acquit of the sale. Mr. Narrow added that police testified they searched the informant before and after she went to DeCarr’s house and when she left they found cocaine when there hadn’t been any previously. That led to one of DeCarr’s convictions for possession.

“We were a little bit dissatisfied with the jury’s finding on that count,” Mr. Narrow said.

On the second occasion, an undercover state police investigator accompanied the informant to DeCarr’s house and had him on tape doing the transaction and talking about buying and selling cocaine. Mr. Narrow said a clear audio recording of his client making a hand-to-hand sale was “a bit difficult to get around.”

Mr. Champagne said police learned of DeCarr’s drug sale activity by receiving complaints from community members, some of whom claimed DeCarr was giving drugs away to teenagers and charging them once they were hooked.

The case was tried by Elizabeth Crawford and Gary Pasqua, Franklin County assistant district attorneys.

At the end of the day, Mr. Narrow said he is grateful to the jury for “the time and patience [they] put into the case,” as well as to Ms. Crawford, Mr. Pasqua, and Acting County Court Judge Feliz Catena, who travelled to Malone from Montgomery County.

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