Schenectady County

Drug kingpin gets 20 years

One of two suspected kingpins in a large Schenectady-based drug ring admitted his role Tuesday and w
Schenectady drug ring leader Oscar Mora is led into Schenectady County Court Tuesday to be sentenced.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Schenectady drug ring leader Oscar Mora is led into Schenectady County Court Tuesday to be sentenced.

One of two suspected kingpins in a large Schenectady-based drug ring admitted his role Tuesday and was promptly sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

The sentence is to run at the same time as a 15-year sentence he received Monday in federal court on a gun conviction, meaning his plea in the drug ring amounts to five extra years.

Oscar Mora, 30, appeared in Schenectady County Court before Judge Karen Drago. He apologized for his actions and thanked the court for accepting the plea deal.

Mora was accused of heading the drug ring, along with co-defendant Kerry Kirkem. Prosecutors have called the ring well organized, set up with supervisors and workers under them.

Drago noted that, calling the operation one “well-oiled machine.”

She also noted that his actions brought thousands of dollars of illegal substances into the community.

“This calls you a very intelligent man,” Drago said, noting a pre-sentence report. “If only you could have put that to some law-abiding use.    Unfortunately, you decided to go down this road and now you’ll be in jail for the next 20 years.”

Though the deal handed out five extra years over the federal sentence, prosecutors had initially offered two extra years, Mora attorney James Tyner said. But Drago balked at that offer, as she has with others in the drug ring case. She would accept nothing less than 20 years total, Tyner said.

“That tied everybody’s hands,” Tyner said. “Although 20 speaks volumes and is a big number, it should be viewed together with what he is doing on the federal charge, 15 years.”

Mora and Kirkem were among 24 people indicted last month as alleged participants in the drug ring. Mora is the third to take a plea deal.

Among the others with cases still pending is Lisa Kaczmarek, wife of former Schenectady police chief Greg Kaczmarek.

The cases are being prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Mora’s 20-year sentence covers three different cases and one breached plea agreement, all of which ended with his sentencings this week,

Mora was first arrested last May, accused of delivering 500 envelopes of heroin to Schenectady. Mora then gave permission to search his Waterford home, where authorities said they found a .45-caliber Glock in a safe, leading to the federal charge. Mora was sentenced Monday to 15 years on the federal case, a sentence that included no benefit from a cooperation agreement.

Federal prosecutors alleged Mora violated the agreement by running the large-scale drug operation when he was supposed to be working with them to go after others.

Prosecutors also speculated that Mora used them to go after the competition, clearing the way for his own organization.

Mora was also sentenced Tuesday in county court for the May 2007 drug case. He received eight years to be served concurrently with the other sentences.

Kirkem’s attorney, Michael Braccini, responded to Mora’s plea Tuesday by saying it was Mora who got Kirkem involved, when Mora got in trouble with federal authorities. The proceeds, however, went to Mora, Braccini said.

Kirkem is considering his own plea offer, Braccini said.

Tyner said Braccini’s comments were the first he’d heard of that, saying it was casting blame elsewhere.

Categories: Schenectady County

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