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Niagara Falls man gets jail time for positive drug test

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CANTON — A Niagara Falls man was sent to jail Monday after testing positive for THC and cocaine during arraignment in St. Lawrence County Court.

Gilbert B. Murdoch, 40, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty to a felony DWI charge before St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards sent him to be drug-tested by probation.

It is alleged that on May 1, Mr. Murdoch drove a 2002 Chevrolet on Leslie Road, Massena, while intoxicated. He previously had been convicted of two DWI misdemeanor charges, both in Niagara Falls, on Oct. 31, 2003, and Dec. 8, 2006.

Mr. Murdoch had not just been released from St. Lawrence County jail on $2,000 bail but, according to his attorney, Peter A. Dumas, also was out on $500 bail pending several misdemeanor charges in Canton Village Court as well as a felony first-degree promoting prison contraband charge.

Judge Richards exonerated the $2,000 bail and decided to release Mr. Murdoch under probation supervision, as he is working as a union bridge painter, before sending him to be tested.

Upon his return to the courtroom with the positive results, Judge Richards hung his head and told Mr. Murdoch that painting bridges while having cocaine and THC in system might not be the best move.

“I can’t stop him from doing cocaine and jumping off a bridge,” Judge Richards said. “It’s not a good thing to do, but I can’t stop him.”

Judge Richards said that he could protect others from such reckless behavior, recanted his allowance of release under probation supervision and sent Mr. Murdoch to the county jail without bail. He will be evaluated for chemical dependency treatment.

In other County Court action Monday:

Jesse C. Davis, 23, of 1700 County Route 25, Lot 13, was sentenced to five years’ probation after a May 21, 2012, guilty plea to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class D felony.

The sentence is a result of Mr. Davis’s sale of Ecstasy Oct. 28 and Nov. 1, 2010, in Potsdam.

In addition to probation, Judge Richards imposed $120 restitution and $50 in court fees.

James J. Love, 27, Massena, was sentenced to five years’ probation after a May 10 guilty plea to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Mr. Love sold oxycodone on Oct. 25, 2011, in the village of Massena. That guilty plea also covered several other charges, including endangering the welfare of a child.

In addition to probation, Judge Richards imposed $160 restitution and $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

Kenneth V. Smith, 21, of 80 Country Club Road, Gouverneur, was sentenced to five years’ probation after a May 14 guilty plea to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class C felony.

In March 2012, Mr. Smith sold an unspecified quantity of cocaine to an unnamed person in the town of Fowler.

In addition to probation, Judge Richards imposed a $50 court fee.

Edwin G. Roach, 53, of 511 Knox St., Ogdensburg, had his arraignment adjourned to Aug. 26, as Public Defender Stephen D. Button had a conflict that prevented him from representing Mr. Roach. Judge Richards assigned David A. Haggard as counsel.

Mr. Roach is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, all class B felonies, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony, and criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class D felony.

It is alleged that Mr. Roach was in possession of and sold cocaine to another person in Ogdensburg on Feb. 23 and March 5, 2012. Additionally, it is alleged that he was in possession of and sold codeine in the city on April 3, 2012.

Travis J. Nelson, 32, of 15 Madrid Ave., Potsdam, pleaded guilty to DWI charges Monday.

Mr. Nelson was arrested Oct. 28 for allegedly operating a 2006 Ford on Maple Street in Potsdam with a blood alcohol content of 0.21 percent. A grand jury indicted him on one count of aggravated DWI and two counts of DWI. Under state law, a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered proof of intoxication. Aggravated DWI is charged when the BAC is 0.18 percent or more.

Mr. Nelson had a previous misdemeanor DWI conviction on Sept. 23, 2009, in the town of Waddington.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 21. Mr. Nelson was released under probation supervision.

Eric A. Graham, 30, of 12 School Road, DeKalb Junction, pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated DWI and two counts of DWI.

His license was revoked and he was released under probation supervision.

It is alleged that on May 4, Mr. Graham drove a 1999 Ford on Main Street in the town of Gouverneur with a BAC of 0.10 percent while Ian C.M. Graham, 6, was a passenger in his vehicle.

Mr. Graham also has a petit larceny charge pending against him in Russell Town Court.

Allan M. LaPage, 25, of 351 E. Orvis St., Apt. 7, Massena, was sentenced to four years in state prison for violating probation and as a second-felony offender for criminal contempt.

Mr. LaPage was placed on probation on April 4 for criminal contempt and violating an order of protection through text messages, Facebook messages and telephone conversations with Michelle L. Zakarauskas of Massena.

Jose A. Castro-Luzunaris, 25, of 437 McCarthy Road, Winthrop pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a class E felony.

It is alleged that police found a loaded 9mm handgun in the waistband of his pants on the afternoon of April 11. According to a grand jury indictment, that gun was the property of Andrew Jensen.

Chad M. Savage, 43, of 154 Old Wawbeek Road, Tupper Lake, Franklin County, pleaded not guilty to two counts of DWI.

It is alleged that on March 24, he drove a 2007 Ford motor vehicle on Route 3 in the town of Piercefield with a BAC of 0.10 percent. He had been convicted of DWI in the village of Tupper Lake on Oct. 26, 2008.

Daniel R. Grant, 23, of 230 Chapel Hill Road, Colton, was sentenced to five years’ probation after a May 15 guilty plea to the class D felony of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

In addition to probation, Judge Richards imposed $200 in restitution and $50 in court fees.

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