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Upstate man gets five years plus on felony drug conviction

SYRACUSE – A Utica man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Syracuse to five years and three months incarceration following his conviction of federal felony drug charges. Dean Steppello was also ordered to serve a three year term of supervised release following his term of incarceration and to pay a $200 special assessment.

Steppello, 43, of Utica, was convicted on September 19, 2013, of two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute following a four day jury trial. The jury also found he possessed over 500 grams of cocaine, requiring a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment.

The defendant was arrested by members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (“CNET”) in Utica as he attempted to deliver four ounces of cocaine. A subsequent search of the defendant’s residence resulted in the recovery of an additional pound and three quarters of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, a shotgun and four thousand dollars in cash.