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Ogdensburg crack suspects’ case adjourned due to defense conflict

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Defense attorney conflict of interest adjourned Tuesday a preliminary hearing in Ogdensburg City Court for four felony drug possession suspects.

The defendants, all from Buffalo, will be back before Judge William R. Small this morning at 9:30.

Charles J.H. “Whiz” Caviness, 24, Eldridge “L” Gossom, 25, Andre L. “Dre” Wilson, 40, and Tige K. “Jeeb” Smith Jr., 24, are each charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. They were arrested Thursday at 325 Belmont Courts, believed by city police to be part of a crack cocaine distribution ring in the Ogdensburg area.

Judge Small ordered the adjournment after two consecutive legal counsels, St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Steven G. Ballan and Ogdensburg attorney Gary R. Alford, recused themselves from representing Mr. Gossom because of conflicts of interest.

Mr. Gossom will be represented today by attorney Effie Kyriakopoulos.

The other defense attorneys are Greg Storie for Mr. Wilson, Mary E. Rain for Mr. Smith and county Assistant Conflict Public Defender Heather A. Dona for Mr. Caviness.

The prosecutor is St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Viacheslav Mareyev.

According to court records, police found in the Belmont Courts apartment 111 mini-baggies of crack cocaine and seven mini-baggies of powdered cocaine with a cumulative weight of 28.7 grams.

Ogdensburg Police Detective Sgt. Robert H. Wescott said each mini-baggie had a street sale value of $50, or a total of $5,900 at about four grams for each mini-baggie.

The defendants remain in St. uLawrence County jail, Canton, on $10,000 cash or $20,000 bail bond each for Mr. Caviness, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Smith, and $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond for Mr. Gossom.

Police said the four were arrested as a result of an ongoing investigation into crack cocaine trafficking in the city.

Ogdensburg police were assisted by members of the St. Lawrence County Drug Task force, which includes law enforcement from the county Sheriff’s Department, Gouverneur police and Potsdam police, U.S. Border Patrol and state police.

City police said more arrests are pending.

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