CANTON — An Albany man, formerly of Potsdam, was released from county jail after appearing in St. Lawrence County Court on Monday on charges related to a 2018 cocaine investigation.
Christopher M. Cruz, 23, 97 Clinton St., Apt. 2, was released under probation supervision, transferred to Albany County, while he awaits his next court appearance in St. Lawrence County, a pre-trial discovery conference and status on Jan. 27.
Mr. Cruz previously pleaded not guilty to second-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree conspiracy, both felonies, after originally appearing in county court on Dec. 24, 2018. At that time, he was released and ordered to appear in January 2019. When he did not appear, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
St. Lawrence County Public Defender David Huber told the court Mr. Cruz has no prior criminal history, has lived at his current address for nearly two years, is employed and is the primary caretaker of a young child. Citing those factors, Mr. Huber requested Mr. Cruz be released under probation supervision to await trial.
Mr. Cruz was initially arrested on May 16, 2018, in Collegiate Village in Potsdam, after a monthslong investigation called “Operation Car Wreck,” by St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s detectives and Drug Task Force members, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations Border Enforcement Task Force and the Potsdam Police Department.
At the time, police also arrested Joshua J. Carr, 34, who had been the source of multiple kilos of cocaine moving to the Canton, Potsdam and Massena areas through several distributors.
Mr. Cruz, police determined, was one of Carr’s “shops” that held narcotics to distribute into the Potsdam area and held a significant role in the organization. Camron R. Waters, 25, Slingerlands, was also arrested on conspiracy charges at the time. Mr. Waters, police said, assisted the distribution network by driving vehicles to the Bronx to pick up large amounts of cocaine with Mr. Carr and other conspirators to be distributed in St. Lawrence County.
The following people also appeared in St. Lawrence County Court Monday morning:
Julia J. Reynolds, 23, formerly of Ogdensburg, was sentenced to five years of probation for third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office. Ms. Reynolds’ probation sentence was transferred to Clinton County, where she now resides and works in Plattsburgh.
Ms. Reynolds was initially arrested on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine, both felonies, and the misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
She was also ordered to pay $375 in court fees and surcharges.
Darlene Mashaw, 59, last known address of 620 New York Ave., Apt. 1, Ogdensburg, was sentenced to one year of interim probation after previously pleading guilty to third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.
Upon successful completion of interim probation, Ms. Mashaw would have the opportunity to vacate her guilty plea and plead to a reduced misdemeanor and receive three years of probation with one year of credit applied. If unsuccessful, the court made no promises.