One of the alleged original members of the Four Block Gang, Kwame Robinson, was sentenced Wednesday in Schenectady County Court to a year in jail on a prior plea to second-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
The sentencing had been delayed because Robinson has been a federal inmate since his indictment in May, along with 43 others. Like Robinson, many of those indicted are accused of having been members of the Four Block Gang, which controlled much of the drug dealing in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood, committing drive-by shootings to protect turf and feuding with rival gangs.
Robinson, 20, formerly of Delamont Avenue, is accused in the federal indictment of being one of three “Four Block Original Gangsters.”
In the case resolved Wednesday, Robinson and three other individuals were accused of possessing a gun in a car, along with seven grams of crack cocaine on Aug. 14, 2010, in Schenectady. Each of the three others in the car was also included in the federal indictment. Two of them, Arsheen Montgomery and Leon Robinson, are the other alleged original Four Block Gang members.
In court Wednesday, Robinson agreed to a change in the plea deal. He had originally agreed to six months in jail and five years’ probation. But acting Schenectady County Court Judge Polly Hoye said Robinson would have trouble with probation, as he had in the past.
Robinson was already on probation for an attempted robbery conviction, one where he received youthful offender status, when he was arrested for the gun in the car, Hoye noted. Instead, Robinson agreed to a one-year sentence.
The six-month increase may not matter, depending on the outcome of the federal conspiracy case. Those charged in the federal case face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison, if convicted.
The spectre of the federal case was in court Wednesday, with Hoye noting Robinson’s attorney Joseph Battaglia’s comment that the federal case was moving slowly.
But she sentenced Robinson as though the federal case were not there, telling the defendant he needed to better himself and learn some skills while in jail. “I’d hate to see a guy as young as you kind of throwing your life away,” she said.
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