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Massena man sentenced to five years in state prison for cocaine possession

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CANTON — A 31-year-old Massena man was sentenced Tuesday to five years in state prison after his conviction on a cocaine possession count.

St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards also ordered Andrew J. Katura placed under three years of post-release supervision when he is released from a state correctional facility. He also was ordered to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges for his conviction on third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

He faced a mandatory state prison sentence as a second felony offender. Mr. Katura admitted he had a September 2004 conviction for third-degree attempted burglary.

Massena village police had charged Mr. Katura with felony counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon — an assault rifle — and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon — a fully loaded 30-round magazine — following the execution of a search warrant March 28 at his 55 Liberty Ave. residence.

He also was charged with a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and a second count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance stemming from a sale that took place in January.

The charges were all satisfied by Mr. Katura’s plea to the felony drug count.

Mr. Katura and Amber M. Miller were charged with possessing an AR-15 that had been reported stolen on March 28 by Timothy Alguire, 345 E. Orvis St., Massena.

Police also reportedly found several grams of cocaine packaged for sale in 27 plastic bags and more than 6 ounces of marijuana during their search of the residence.

In other recent court action before Judge Richards:

Aaron T. Capone, 37, of Washington Street, Watertown, formerly of Hannawa Falls, was placed on interim probation and had his sentencing for aggravated driving while intoxicated adjourned until Aug. 17.

Mr. Capone was charged by St. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies Nov. 30 with felony counts of aggravated DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, second-degree forgery and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and a misdemeanor charge of second-degree criminal impersonation following a traffic stop on Route 56 in the town of Potsdam.

Deputies said Mr. Capone had identified himself as his brother, Jason, during the stop and signed several documents with Jason Capone’s name while he was being processed on the DWI charge. Mr. Capone’s blood alcohol content was 0.24 percent, deputies said. 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.

Terrance A. Brown, 24, a former SUNY Potsdam student listing a Far Rockaway address at the time of his indictment, had his sentencing on a drug conviction adjourned until Sept. 22.

The court said it had received a memorandum from the probation department reporting that Mr. Brown is incarcerated on felony charges in Queens County, and is expected to be sentenced to a significant period of incarceration in connection with those counts.

Mr. Brown was one of six SUNY Potsdam students, including five fraternity brothers, rounded up May 10, 2011, in a series of early-morning drug raids led by Potsdam village police and St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force members.

The suspects were accused of selling various drugs, including oxycodone, marijuana, mushrooms, Ecstasy and other prescription drugs, to undercover informants neginning in October 2010. Some of the sales occurred inside the former Psi Phi fraternity house on Pierrepont Avenue, police said at the time.

The raids occurred countywide using several police agencies, with officers seizing marijuana, cocaine, $5,000 cash, scales and several smoking devices, police said.

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