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Judge vacates marijuana-possession plea, sentences others

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards classified a Malone man as a youthful offender Monday and vacated his conviction for possessing 22 pounds of marijuana.

Philip A. Sharpe III, 19, of 243 McGillic Road, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree criminal possession of marijuana in May 2011 in the town of Stockholm.

He was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to attain his General Educational Development diploma within one year.

The judge also vowed to strengthen future sentences for those convicted of possessing more than 10 pounds of marijuana.

He told Mr. Sharpe that he “slid under the change.”

In other St. Lawrence County Court cases Monday:

Ernest W. Brothers, 39, of 524 Covington St., Ogdensburg, pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, a class D felony. He was released under probation supervision and will be sentenced Sept. 24.

If he complies with the probation terms, Mr. Brothers will be sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $15,742.69 in restitution. If not, he faces up to seven years in prison.

Mr. Brothers, an ex-driver for Econo Fuels Inc., was accused of never delivering $12,000 worth of fuel and of falsifying business records. He was indicted in November.

William P. Sapoff, 20, of 304 E. Main St., Gouverneur, was sentenced to one year of probation. He pleaded guilty April 19 to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class E felony.

Mr. Sapoff and two other men were pulled over on County Route 25 in March. A police dog helped officers locate 1 pound of hallucinogenic mushrooms stored in the vehicle’s trunk.

Randy A. Smart, 26, Fulton, was sentenced to five years’ probation after pleading guilty April 17 to third-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Mr. Smart was pulled over and found with 10 pounds of marijuana on Route 310 in March 2011.

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