To the Editor:
Dear Judge Champagne: According to local media, three of the defendants in the recent “Operation Gravy Train” law enforcement sweep of drug dealers have entered guilty pleas and will be sentenced by you in the coming weeks.
While I understand that plea bargains are part of the process, these three seem especially egregious to me because these individuals, Daquon J. Holmes, Jamar L. Carter, and Janera D. Carter are all from Utica, and only came to St. Lawrence County to sell drugs and profit from people’s addiction.
I was particularly surprised to see that two of them will be given “youthful offender” status and no time in jail, especially given the level of violence displayed by Janera Carter on a law enforcement officer. I find it hard to believe the original felony charges will be dismissed. Nonetheless, these “deals” have been offered and accepted.
I write to you not to complain about plea bargains but to ask that you take additional steps to protect our communities from the continued onslaught of illicit drugs and those who profit from selling these horrific substances.
It appears that none of these three individuals have any family or other ties to Massena or St. Lawrence County. Their only mission here was to victimize people and profit financially from their misery. In other words, they have no legitimate reason to live in Massena, or St. Lawrence County for that matter.
Therefore, I am respectfully asking you, as part of their sentences, to issue orders banning them from returning to our community.
As Massena Town Supervisor my responsibilities include making this community as safe as possible. You can help me do that by ordering these miscreants to stay out of our area and, more specifically, the Town and Village of Massena.
While my request may seem draconian, I feel it is necessary to help us fight the scourge of drugs.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide you with any additional information or answer any questions.
Joseph D. Gray
Massena town supervisor