Schenectady County

Man sent to prison for cocaine possession

One of two men accused in one of Niskayuna’s largest drug busts was sentenced Friday to eight years
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One of two men accused in one of Niskayuna’s largest drug busts was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison.

Gregory Trantham, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this year to second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a high-level drug felony.

A second man wanted in the May 11, 2007, police raid on a house on Crescent Road has yet to be apprehended, officials confirmed. Handiel Tesheira, 30, was not present at the time of the raid. He is wanted on weapon charges.

The raid itself netted an estimated $26,000 in cocaine, one of the biggest Niskayuna seizures in memory, authorities said. Police also seized cars, jewelry and cash, much of which was placed on display at a news conference following the raid.

Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago on Friday noted that Trantham has a criminal history, though largely in the 1990s.

She also noted that he is devoted to his two daughters and sets high standards for them.

“I can’t understand why you can’t channel that same energy and moral tenets you set for your family, why they don’t apply to you,” Drago said.

Trantham expressed remorse for his actions, according to his attorney, Thomas DeLorenzo.

Prosecutor Michael Tiffany also noted that Trantham had expressed remorse and that he had been forthright with probation officers in a presentencing report.

“However, I do believe the sentence is appropriate,” Tiffany said.

Trantham was arrested as he drove away from the Crescent Road home just before it was raided.

Inside his car, authorities said they found a bag containing 22 ounces of cocaine, according to the federal filing. In the home, police said at the time, they found two 9mm handguns, more than $25,000 in cash, and jewelry valued at $55,000.

Federal authorities also seized more than $23,000 in cash taken from Trantham in an April 2007 incident in Schenectady. Authorities claimed it was from drug activity.

That money was seized after police responded to an argument between Trantham and his wife.

Officers soon encountered Gregory Trantham on the stairs. They said he was carrying a plastic grocery bag in one hand and cash in the other. In the bag was $15,000 in cash. They also recovered $7,000 in loose currency, another $1,552 in his pants pocket, along with two cellphones. In his jacket was another $15, but also a small baggie with 1.35 grams of cocaine, according to papers.

Trantham’s wife briefly made a claim on the cash, but she later dropped it and federal authorities won an uncontested judgment on the cash last April.

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