A Watertown man is being held at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on $100,000 bail after being arraigned Thursday in Jefferson County Court on a sealed indictment alleging he possessed a large quantity of cocaine in April in Adams.
Rajsheem L. Richardson, 25, of 325 Winslow St., is charged with first- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy, first-degree criminal nuisance and first-degree criminal facilitation, as well as five counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.
The charges were contained in a grand jury indictment unsealed in court. It is alleged that in early April he possessed more than 8 ounces of cocaine with the intent to sell the drug and that he conspired with others to sell it from an apartment in Adams.
Police also alleged that he maintained the residence as a place where others could gather to sell drugs and that it was maintained as a place where people could gather to possess large quantities of cocaine. The indictment charges that he also possessed materials used to weigh and package drugs.
Mr. Richardson additionally was charged by city police about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and a single count of resisting arrest. Police said that as they attempted to arrest him on Holcomb Street near Clinton and Mullin streets on the sealed indictment, he ran and was arrested in the 300 block of Holcomb Street. Police allege that he was found to be in possession of 14 grams of crack cocaine and six Percocet pills.
He pleaded not guilty at arraignment to all 10 charges contained in the indictment and was ordered held at the PSB by Judge Kim H. Martusewicz.
Mr. Richardson is an ex-convict, having served about three years in state prison for a second-degree attempted assault conviction in County Court. He admitted in September 2010 that he tried to seriously injure Arthur L. Hayes III on April 24, 2007, at the since-closed Club Renaissance on Route 3 in the town of LeRay. Police charged that a knife was used to stab Mr. Hayes, a Fort Drum soldier who suffered an injury that required open-heart surgery. A second soldier also suffered stab wounds in the incident.
Mr. Richardson initially pleaded guilty in that case to first-degree assault and was sentenced to five years in prison. He appealed the conviction to the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, arguing, among other things, that there was not enough evidence on record to support his guilt. The appellate court agreed, stating, among other things, that there were three witness statements taken in the case and each tended to point more toward Mr. Richardsons innocence than his guilt.
Given the ruling, Mr. Richardson asked Judge Martusewicz to review the grand jury minutes in the case and rule whether the evidence within was sufficient to support a charge of second-degree attempted murder, the top count in an indictment handed up in June 2007. Upon review, Judge Martusewicz dismissed the count in the interest of justice.
Mr. Richardson then agreed to plead guilty to an amended count of second-degree attempted assault. However, because he already had spent more than three years in custody, or more than the maximum amount called for in his indeterminate sentence of 1½ to 3 years, he was released a few days later.
Mr. Richardson also has a disorderly conduct charge pending in City Court. Police charged him June 5 with shouting and displaying threatening behavior in the 500 block of Washington Street.