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Buffalo man pleads guilty to Ogdensburg drug deal

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CANTON — The second of four Buffalo men tied to an Ogdensburg drug ring has pleaded guilty in St. Lawrence County Court.

Charles J.H. Caviness, 23, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance, both felonies.

Mr. Caviness was among four arrested Dec. 6 following a raid by Ogdensburg police at 325 Belmont Courts. Police said the arrests were the culmination of an ongoing investigation into crack cocaine trafficking in the city.

Mr. Caviness admitted to selling cocaine in the city on March 7, 2012, and to being in possession of the narcotic on Dec. 6, 2012.

In court Monday, Mr. Caviness tested positive for marijuana and was taken to St. Lawrence County jail, where he is being held without bail awaiting sentencing Dec. 23.

On July 12, Eldridge Gossom, 26, a cohort of Mr. Caviness, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; however, that plea was vacated and he was jailed Sept. 30 by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards after Mr. Gossom refused to admit his involvement in the drug ring and tested positive for marijuana during his sentencing.

Judge Richards sent Mr. Gossom to the county jail without bail; the case is being scheduled for trial at a later date.

A third man, Tige K. Smith Jr., 25, was scheduled for a hearing Monday in County Court but did not appear and a warrant for his arrest was issued, according to District Attorney Nicole M. Duve. He also is facing a charge of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The fourth man facing the third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance charge is Andre L. Wilson, 40. Ms. Duve said that Mr. Wilson twice backed out of a guilty plea to the charge. On May 10, Mr. Wilson had experienced a change of heart about a plea deal, which could have put him in prison for up to 5 years, and his representation. Mr. Wilson requested additional time to gather the money for new counsel because of a lack of funds following his release on bond, said his lawyer at the time, Gregory P. Storie.

In other court action Monday:

Ryan E. Lichtarski, 26, Rome, was sentenced to up to 42 months in state prison after an Oct. 9 guilty plea to felony second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Mr. Lichtarski originally was supposed to be placed on interim probation, which would have afforded him the opportunity to plead down to the misdemeanor charge of third-degree forgery. However, Judge Richards said Mr. Lichtarski tested positive for cocaine and marijuana on more than one occasion and was denied the plea bargain.

In addition to his prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $2,505 in restitution and $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Matthew J. Mastine, 31, Clifton Park, was sentenced to five days in jail and two years’ probation on a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge after successfully completing one year of interim probation.

Mr. Mastine pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to felony DWI after he had operated a vehicle on Irish Settlement Road in the town of Oswegatchie with a blood alcohol content of 0.17 percent on Dec. 29, 2011. Judge Richards vacated that guilty plea Monday and accepted Mr. Mastine’s guilty plea to the reduced misdemeanor charge.

In addition to his sentence, Mr. Mastine was ordered to pay $1,395 in court fines, fees and surcharges. His probation supervision was transferred to Saratoga County.

Penny E. Osgood, 53, Syracuse, was sentenced to two years’ probation for misdemeanor DWI after successfully completing seven months of interim probation.

Ms. Osgood pleaded guilty on Dec. 5 to felony DWI, admitting she had operated a vehicle on Main Street in the village of Canton with a BAC of 0.17 percent on Dec. 29, 2011. Judge Richards vacated that guilty plea on Monday and accepted Ms. Osgood’s guilty plea to the reduced misdemeanor charge.

In addition to probation, she was ordered to pay $1,395 in court fines, fees and surcharges. Her probation supervision was transferred to Onondaga County.

Tehya Wensauer, 35, Greene, pleaded guilty to felony second-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

On Oct. 26, 2012, Ms. Wensauer was in a vehicle traveling through the town of Morristown with Katsitsi Smoke, 19, of 15 Cree Road, Hogansburg, when police found them in possession of 17 pounds of marijuana. Ms. Wensauer was released under probation awaiting her Jan. 27 sentencing.

Ms. Smoke was sentenced Nov. 22 to one year of interim probation after her guilty plea to felony second-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Kayla M. Diegan, 21, of 86 Brothers Road, Norfolk, pleaded guilty to felony second-degree forgery.

On Feb. 15, Ms. Diegan signed Brianna Miller’s name on a car agreement at Countrywide Rental Cars. She was released under probation supervision awaiting her Jan. 27 sentencing.

Joseph J. Schneller, 32, of 145 Taylor Road, Canton, pleaded not guilty to counts of DWI and aggravated DWI, both felonies.

It is alleged that Mr. Shneller had a 0.23 percent BAC while driving Aug. 30 on Main Street in Potsdam. He was convicted of misdemeanor DWI in Colton Town Court on May 10, 2010.

Mr. Schneller, who had been released from jail on $500 bail, had that bail exonerated and was released under probation supervision pending further court proceedings.

Elmer Davis, 46, Oneida, was sentenced to two years’ probation on a misdemeanor DWI charge after successfully completing one year of interim probation.

Mr. Davis pleaded guilty March 27, 2012, to felony DWI after he had operated a vehicle on County Route 21 in the town of Canton with a BAC of 0.08 percent on Dec. 29, 2011. Judge Richards vacated that guilty plea on Monday and accepted Mr. Davis’s guilty plea to the reduced misdemeanor charge.

In addition to probation, Mr. Davis was ordered to pay $1,395 in court fines, fees and surcharges. His probation supervision was transferred to Madison County.

Joseph J. Belile, 29, an inmate at St. Lawrence County jail, formerly of Massena, had his arraignment on a felony second-degree assault charge adjourned after Judge Richards said he received a complaint from Mr. Belile about his attorney, Mary E. Rain.

Judge Richards excused Ms. Rain as assigned counsel and sent Mr. Belile back to jail to await new counsel. No new date has been scheduled for his arraignment.

It is alleged that on Aug. 15, he assaulted Timothy Thomas, another inmate in the jail.

In court action on Nov. 15:

Richard S. Markey, 56, Lisbon, was sentenced to up to 45 months in state prison for felony possession of a sexual performance by a child.

On Aug 9, state police executed a search warrant after the Computer Crimes Unit developed information on the viewing and downloading of images containing child pornography at Mr. Markey’s residence on Dollar Road. Several computers and other assorted digital evidence were taken from the residence, police said.

In addition to prison time, he was ordered to pay $1,425 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Dejuan J. Butler, 23, Ogdensburg, was sentenced to seven years in prison as a second felony offender for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

On Feb. 28 Mr. Butler sold cocaine to another person in the city.

In addition to his prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $100 in restitution and $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Dylan R. Sharpstene, 17, Russell, pleaded guilty to felony third-degree burglary.

The charge is related to an incident reported to troopers as 12:46 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the town of Edwards. Mr. Sharpstene was released under probation supervision pending his Dec. 12 sentencing.

Nichole M. Meunier, 27, of 1 Mechanic St., Norwood, was sentenced to two years’ probation on a misdemeanor petit larceny charge after successfully completing one year of interim probation.

Judge Richards vacated her original guilty plea to felony third-degree robbery.

In addition to probation, Ms. Meunier was ordered to pay $50 in court fines, fees and surcharges and $99 restitution.

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