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A New Jersey man was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison after he admitted in February that he brought 104 grams of crack cocaine to Massena with the intent to sell the drug in St. Lawrence County.

Thomas L. Critten, 30, of Jersey City, N.J., was sentenced Tuesday to 87 months in federal prison for one count of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. Chief U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also imposed a four-year term of supervised release to begin after Mr. Critten’s release from prison.

On Feb. 12, Mr. Critten pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Albany, to the charge. He was facing a minimum of five years or up to 40 years in federal prison.

According to the judgement filed Wednesday, Mr. Critten will be designated to a facility close to New Jersey and participate in substance abuse treatment, including Residential Drug Abuse Program, or RDAP, if deemed eligible by the Bureau of Prisons.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Critten admitted that on Dec. 20, 2018, he brought the drugs to Massena with the intent to distribute them to another person. He admitted he had hidden the two bags containing crack cocaine in his underwear and that police discovered the drugs during a search during his arrest on an unrelated charge.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the court, a sheriff’s deputy stopped a taxi in which Mr. Critten was a passenger for an unspecified traffic violation. The taxi driver told the deputy he was taking Mr. Critten from a bus station to an address in Massena the deputy discovered did not exist.

Mr. Critten told the deputy he was going to visit his fiance, but he did not know his fiance’s address. He was then asked to get out of the taxi and was questioned by a detective. According to the complaint, he told the detective he was supposed to take a bus from Elmira to Jersey City, but had gotten on the wrong bus. He said he was heading to a store to wait for his fiance to drive from Elmira to pick him up.

Deputies then asked the taxi driver if a K-9 unit could conduct a “sniff” of the vehicle, to which the driver consented. The dog alerted to the back seat area where Mr. Critten was seated, according to the complaint. Deputies then conducted a “pat down” of Mr. Critten and located the drugs in his underwear.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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