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Ontario man sentenced to prison for smuggling oxycodone in Franklin County

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HOGANSBURG — A Cornwall Island, Ontario, man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court, Albany, to just over three years in prison for his role in smuggling oxycodone through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation.

Nathan Benedict, 34, was sentenced to 37 months in federal custody for a March 2011 guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute a controlled substance. He also was ordered to undergo an additional three years of supervision upon his release.

According to a plea agreement filed with the court, Mr. Benedict and his wife, Donna, 34, formerly known as Donna Lazore, smuggled large quantities of the drug from Canada into the United States through the reservation between July and September 2010. The agreement states that the Benedicts obtained oxycodone from a source in Canada and resold the drug to others on the reservation and in Franklin County, with the others in turn reselling the drugs.

Sometime in August 2010, a customer of the organization contacted Mrs. Benedict by text message and ordered 80 tablets of oxycodone, which Mr. Benedict was able to obtain from his source in Canada. The Benedicts then met with the individual and sold the drugs for about $4,000. According to court documents, the tablets sell for about $75 to $100 each.

The Benedicts also sold an individual 200 tablets in September 2010, according to the plea agreement.

Mrs. Benedict pleaded guilty in December 2010 to the conspiracy charge and is awaiting sentencing, which has been postponed several times. She was due to be sentenced July 11, but that has been adjourned until Oct. 10.

Three men who purchased oxycodone from the Benedicts have also entered guilty pleas to the conspiracy. Shane Duston, 23, Fort Covington, Neal Lauzon, 30, Plattsburgh, and Anthony King, age and address not available, have been sentenced to an unspecified amount of time served in custody and ordered to undergo three years of supervised release.

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