Reading this on your phone or tablet? Download our new app on Google Play and the Apple store.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A now four-time convicted felon and self-professed ‘professional’ drug dealer will be off to prison once again following sentencing in county court Tuesday morning for Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree following the theft of a shotgun from a woman he says owed him money for drugs.
Christopher Bricks, 29, was sentenced to 2 to 4 years with 1 year concurrent, to be served at the same time, in prison as a second-felony offender after a February jury trial that left him acquitted of a Burglary charge but convicted of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon, and District Attorney Greg McCaffrey said that he was ‘personally offended’ by the laws laws limiting this sentence.
“I personally find it offensive that a convicted felon flaunting his crimes in your court, saying that it is better for business to send someone else to Rochester for drugs because they are cheaper and he can mark them up for sale to the residents of this county, is somehow ineligible by law for life incarceration,” said DA McCaffrey. “Chris Bricks belongs in state prison.”
A jury found that Bricks went into the home of Dawn Laforce, 53, in Dansville and removed a shotgun which he valued at approximately $300, saying that LaForce had given him permission to take it as payment for two ‘8-balls,’ amounting 7 grams, of cocaine that he sold to her. Bricks’ attorney, John Darpino with the Public Defender’s Office, said that the DA is misconstruing Bricks’ brutal honesty as ‘flaunting.’
“I would like to differ from Mr. McCaffrey,” said Darpino. “[Mr. Bricks] testified on his own behalf and was brutally honest. I have found him to be likeable, agreeable, and an intelligent man.”
LaForce was arrested for her apparent involvement with Bricks as a drug dealer while the investigation was still ongoing, and currently has a motion date for a felony drug charge.
Bricks seemed confused by the sentence and asked how he could be innocent of Burglary but still guilty of other crimes committed in the house.
“I believe I’m innocent,” said Bricks. “I don’t think I committed any felonies and shouldn’t get any prison time.”
DA McCaffrey explained that while the sentence is smaller than he thinks justice calls for, the judge gave the maximum sentence and was limited by the law. The judge could not sentence Bricks to life imprisonment due to the language of the law regarding ‘persistent felon’ treatment, which can translate to life imprisonment sentences.
“To be eligible for persistent felon treatment, a defendant has to have two prior felonies for which they served more than one year in state prison, which Bricks has done,” said DA McCaffrey. “But there are case laws that say that you have to be sentenced on these convictions for them to count. The way Brick’s record has played out, he has three prior felonies, one of which he only did local jail time. In 2005, he was arrested for another felony and pled guilty but committed another felony before being sentenced on the first. It is very frustrating, but the law says those only count as one felony, and he is ineligible for a life sentence for this fourth felony.”
Judge Robert Wiggins said that though Bricks did the right thing by going to trial, his testimony at trial to selling cocaine in Livingston County was indeed insulting.
“Clearly you and your attorney for you made the right choice by going to trial,” said Judge Wiggins. “But this court was insulted by your testimony, hearing about your so-called ‘business’ of selling illegal drugs.”
After sentencing Judge Wiggins and Bricks wished each other well before Bricks was taken back to the jail to await the prison van.
“Best of luck to you, sir,” said Judge Wiggins.
“And to you,” said Bricks.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo/Livingston County Sheriff’s Office)