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Drug dealers face prison time

ELIZABETHTOWN Two men charged with dealing cocaine in Essex County have each been sentenced to seven years in state prison. James Brown, 44, of Keeseville and Donald Handy, 49, of Ticonderoga were sentenced by Judge Richard B. Meyer in Essex County Court Sept. 2 in separate cases. Brown was arrested last year after being stopped along I-87. At the time, State Police report to have found a kilogram of cocaine in his car. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Though it was Browns first arrest for a felony, District Attorney Julie Garcia stated that police had suspected him of drug-dealing for nearly a decade. Kelly Dillon, 45, who was with Brown at the time of his arrest, was also charged in the crime. Dillon had received a sentence of five years in prison at an earlier hearing. As recommended by Garcia to the court, Brown was sentenced to seven years in a state correctional facility. In addition, he will be on probation for two years following his sentence and agreed to forfeit multiple vehicles to the District Attorneys office. Handy, a former janitor at Ticonderoga Elementary-Middle School, was also sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of selling and possessing cocaine. Handy was on his way to the school on March 31 when police found 98 grams of cocaine in his truck, packaged to sell. While there was no confirmation that he sold drugs to students, Garcia said, police suspect Handy made sales to adults on school property while working an evening shift at the school. According to Garcia, Handy had a previous drug-sale arrest on his record from 1990. Handys son is currently in prison on similar charges. In addition to prison time, Handy was required to forfeit his 1999 Ford Ranger, the vehicle he was driving when the drugs were found, as well as $1,472 in cash found in his possession at the time. He will be placed on probation for five years following his release. Garcia made statements in both cases urging the court to consider the seven-year sentences, not far from the maximum sentence of nine years.

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