Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced today that Cleveland Francis (DOB 7-5-73) of Mount Vernon, NY plead guilty before Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III, to the Class “A-1” Felony of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, in violation of New York State Penal Law Section 220.43(1). The charges stemmed from a major drug bust by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department on March 4, 2018. Defendant Francis was the main supplier for defendant Dennis Jones, who has been identified and convicted of being the primary seller of cocaine in Saratoga County by law enforcement. Jones was sentenced to 14 years in prison in Saratoga County Court on August 24, 2018 following his conviction for selling cocaine in the region. More than $250,000.00 in cash and illegal proceeds was seized and forfeited from Dennis Jones property on Route 32 in the Town of Saratoga. Defendant Cleveland Francis was apprehended following a traffic stop. He was found to be in possession of nearly 7 oz. of cocaine and had $10,000.00 in cash, which will also be forfeited. It is anticipated that the Defendant Francis will receive a significant state prison sentence.
DA Heggen stated that “law enforcement deemed Dennis Jones to be the main “day to day” supplier of cocaine in Saratoga County, but his trafficking could not have thrived without the help and supply from Cleveland Francis, who would bring him up a kilo of cocaine every few months from New York City. Given their history, we would not reduce the top charges in this case. The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department worked tirelessly to connect the dots in this investigation, resulting in the arrest and subsequent seizure of the drugs and illegal proceeds”.
Heggen praised the work of Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo and his narcotics Sergeant Keith Clinton for their detailed and thorough investigation, as well as the New York State Police and DEA for their support and assistance.
Francis is scheduled to be sentenced on November 7, 2018 at 9:30.