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Benton man gets prison for selling cocaine

A Benton man who admitted selling cocaine in Penn Yan last year is heading to prison.

Scott Thornton, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Yates County Court to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance (a class B felony). He was sentenced by Judge Jason Cook to three years in prison followed by two years of parole.

Thornton admitted selling cocaine last June in the village. He was arrested several months later following a lengthy investigation by the Penn Yan Police Department and Yates County Sheriff’s Office.

Thornton sold the cocaine to an agent of the PYPD.

District Attorney Todd Casella noted that Thornton recently pleaded guilty to a driving while intoxicated charge in Penn Yan. Along with the prison time and parole, Thornton will pay $200 in restitution — which was “buy money” — to the PYPD.

Thornton’s attorney, Travis Barry, asked Cook to sentence Thornton to the Willard Drug Treatment Campus, which is a state prison facility. Barry said his client has a long history with drug and alcohol abuse.

Casella opposed that request, saying the campus is for drug addicts, not sellers. Casella added that in recorded calls from the county jail, Thornton called himself a drug “kingpin.”

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