A jury convicted a Utica man of federal drug felony charges following a four day jury trial, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.
Dean A. Steppello, 43, of Utica, was convicted of two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on Thursday. The jury also found he possessed over 500 grams of cocaine, requiring a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of up to twenty years imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for January 30, 2014, in United States District Court in Syracuse.
The case followed the arrest of the defendant on June 25, 2008, by members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team 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.
The case was investigated by the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard R. Southwick and Tamara B. Thomson.