Utica man convicted on federal drug charges

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - A Utica man was convicted Thursday of federal felony drug charges after a four-day jury trial, U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said.

Dean A. Steppello, 43, was convicted of two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. The jury also found he possessed more than 500 grams of cocaine, which requires a mandatory minimum five-year and maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Steppello was arrested June 25, 2008, by members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Team in Utica as he attempted to deliver four ounces of cocaine. A search of the defendant's home resulted in the recovery of an additional 1 3/4 pound of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, a shotgun and $4,000.

Steppello will be sentenced Jan. 30, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Syracuse.

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