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New York City faces prison time for having drugs in Watertown

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A New York City man faces six years in state prison after admitting Wednesday in Jefferson County Court that he twice possessed controlled substances with the intent to sell the drugs.

Algernon A. Lovell, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He admitted that on Oct. 11, he possessed the stimulant methylphenidate, or Ritalin, without a prescription in Watertown and that on Nov. 8, he possessed cocaine in the city.

Mr. Lovell had been in County Court the morning of Oct. 11 to plead guilty to third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance for trying to sell cocaine in April and was awaiting sentencing when he was indicted in November on the charge that he possessed Ritalin.

He is expected to be sentenced April 19 to two concurrent six-year terms in prison, followed by three additional years of supervision upon his release, for the two drug-possession convictions entered Thursday. He also will be sentenced to a concurrent three-years’ imprisonment for the Oct. 11 drug sale conviction.

In other activity:

Charles J. Johnson, 58, whose last known address was 833 LeRay St., was sentenced to two to four years in prison for Feb. 13 guilty pleas to two counts of third-degree burglary. He admitted that on May 26, he entered the Watertown Urban Mission, 247 Factory St., with the intent to steal something and that two days later, he broke into Avon Shoes, 67 Public Square. He also was ordered to pay $950 in restitution to Avon Shoes and $1,068 to the Urban Mission.

Judge Kim H. Martusewicz mandated that he serve his sentence in the prison system’s Willard Drug Treatment Program. If an inmate completes the 90-day program, he serves the remainder of his sentence under parole supervision. Mr. Johnson has spent more than 25 years combined in prison since 1974 for previous convictions, most recently being sentenced in County Court in 2003 to three to six years for third-degree burglary convictions.

Ervin J. Best, 44, Watertown, was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by two years’ post-release supervision, for a March 4 guilty plea to third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was charged in an indictment handed up in November with selling cocaine in September in Watertown.

Marquis M. Dawkins, 23, Watertown, was sentenced to 1 to four years in prison for Feb. 13 guilty pleas to third-degree burglary and third-degree attempted criminal mischief. He admitted that on June 24, with others, he entered the Starbuck Avenue apartment of Michele R. Bowens without permission with the intent to commit a crime. Police said at the time that Ms. Bowens’s son, Corey R. Smith, was punched and kicked in the incident. Mr. Dawkins also admitted he damaged a kitchen sink and a bathroom door at the residence. Judge Martusewicz mandated that he serve his sentence in the Willard program. He also was ordered to pay $360 in restitution.

John W. Hall, 43, Glen Park, was sentenced to an unspecified amount of time served at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building and a three-year conditional discharge for a Feb. 11 guilty plea to third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance. He admitted that he tried to sell cocaine within the county Nov. 29. As part of his conditional discharge, he was ordered to complete the Bridge program.

John A. Murdaugh, 45, Troy, pleaded guilty to petit larceny and was sentenced to time served at the PSB. He admitted that sometime between March and May 2011, he received benefits to which he was not entitled by either receiving or cashing a check belonging to Cape Vincent Correctional Facility. He was among several people charged in a check-forging scheme, using inmate accounts to write fake checks and then cashing them downstate. Mr. Murdaugh also was ordered to pay $346 restitution in the form of a civil judgment.

Shawnna B. Burke, 26, formerly known as Shawnna B. Howland, of 632 Adelaide St., Carthage, pleaded guilty to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. She admitted that she possessed methadone in September 2011 within the county. She is expected to be sentenced May 28 to time served at the PSB and three years’ probation.

Willis T. Baughman, 48, of 45381 Otter St., Alexandria Bay, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal trespass. He admitted that in either March 2012 or April, he entered a storage building at Bonnie Castle Marina in Alexandria Bay without permission. He is expected to be sentenced May 29 to three years’ probation and be ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.

Kyle T. Hart, 22, of 26159 Route 37, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree attempted grand larceny and second-degree criminal trespass. He admitted that on Feb. 3, he entered Steve’s Towing, 249 Coffeen St., and tried to steal more than $1,000 worth of property. He is expected to be sentenced May 31 to six months in the PSB and three years’ probation.

Tracy E. Goodwin, 22, Watertown, pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance. She admitted that on Feb. 11, with another person, she tried to possess heroin with the intent to sell the drug at her residence at 217 Cedar St. Police said at the time that 89 packets of heroin with a street value of $1,700 were found at the apartment. She is expected to be sentenced May 31 to time served at the PSB and five years’ probation.

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