Drug dealer faces prison term

JOHNSTOWN – A Gloversville cocaine dealer convicted by a Fulton County Court jury Friday faces six to 15 years in state prison at sentencing this summer.

Anthony M. – also known as “Smurf” – Smith, 31, of 105 N. Arlington Ave., was found guilty, culminating a four-day jury trial last week before Judge Richard C. Giardino.

He was convicted of felony counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. According to a news release from county District Attorney Louise Sira, the six-men, six-women jury deliberated about six hours before reaching its verdict. She prosecuted during the trial, which began May 27.

Smith – a second felony offender with a prior violent felony conviction – faces a sentence of six to 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced by Giardino at 9 a.m. July 17. The defendant previously pleaded guilty in June 2009 in Schenectady County Court to criminal possession of a loaded firearm.

Sira said this morning that Gloversville police considered Smith a “mid-level” drug dealer who was being supplied by others bringing drugs into the area.

The defendant was represented by Amsterdam attorney Andrew DeLuca.

Gloversville police said Smith sold cocaine to a confidential informant in a controlled buy on John Street at 4:18 p.m. Nov. 6. Smith was on parole for a previous conviction at the time he made the drug sale. Police said Smith, who they identified last fall as a member of the Bloods street gang, was charged after he was found driving a rental car without a valid drivers license.

He was initially charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. Police said officers observed Smith operating a rental vehicle in the city and stopped him. Officers then verified Smith’s license was not valid, resulting in him and his then-girlfriend, Cassandra LaRock, being detained until it was verified they had permission to use the vehicle.

The Gloversville police Detective Division conducted the investigation and arrested Smith on Dec. 3 on a sealed indictment handed up by a county grand jury.