The sheriff's informant who falsely accused a Scotia shop owner of selling him drugs admitted to perjury this morning, accepting a prison term of up to 12 years.
James Slater, 22, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree perjury, felonies. He admitted to lying to a Schenectady County grand jury that Scotia shop owner Donald Andrews twice sold him drugs.
Store surveillance cameras cleared Andrews of any wrongdoing. The cameras showed Slater secretly pulled the drugs out of his pants and even photographed them as Andrews' back was turned. Slater later presented those drugs to sheriff's deputies as if he had purchased them.
Slater was indicted last summer on a total of 21 counts. He faced 14 counts of perjury, along with evidence tampering and drug counts. Each of the perjury counts related to Slater's testimony in the Andrews case.
Slater is to be sentenced in March to a total of 6 to 12 years in state prison. The sentence consists of consecutive 3- to 6-year terms.
Andrews has since hired attorney Kevin Luibrand to pursue a possible civil suit against the sheriff's department and those involved. Andrews is the owner of the Dabb City Smoke Shop, a store that sells pipes, T-shirts, hookahs, incense, ashtrays and other items.
Andrews has claimed in court filings related to the potential civil suit that he was targeted "based upon his race and business." Sheriff's officials have denied the accusations.