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Syracuse man jailed on drug charges

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CANTON — A Syracuse man picked up on a court warrant in a drug case was sentenced Monday to one year in jail.

Johnny Sibounhome, 23, of 366 Loma Ave., Syracuse, pleaded guilty Feb. 22 in St. Lawrence County Court to third-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class E felony, stemming from his initial arrest by sheriff’s deputies on Aug. 11, 2011.

Mr. Sibounhome and Israel Ramos, then 22, also of Syracuse, were in a 2005 Toyota on County Route 6 in the town of Oswegatchie when they were stopped for failing to keep right, deputies said. A police dog detected marijuana in the vehicle, and deputies found five vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana amounting to 5 pounds in the back seat, according to the sheriff’s office.

At the time of the August arrest, Mr. Sibounhome identified himself as “Teddy T.” Sibounhome.

Both men were released on probation at that time; however, Mr. Sibounhome disappeared, and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Mr. Sibounhome was picked up in Onondaga County Correctional Facility after he sent a letter dated Feb. 2 to St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards.

Mr. Sibounhome’s letter stated that he was serving a six-month sentence in the facility for an unrelated charge and requested that St. Lawrence County bring him to the County Court to have him arraigned on his open charge of criminal possession of marijuana “at its earliest convenience.”

Mr. Sibounhome’s February plea of guilty lessened his original charge of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class D felony; however, he tested positive for marijuana Monday morning before sentencing, claiming that he was hanging out with friends who were smoking pot.

“There is no such thing as a contact high,” Judge Richards said to him.

Along with his yearlong sentence, Mr. Sibounhome was ordered to pay $375 in fines, fees and surcharges within 365 days after his release from county jail.

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