Man sentenced to year of probation for prison contraband conviction

Alex P. Toolan (left) sits in Cortland County Court on Monday. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

A town of Cortlandville man was sentenced to a year of probation following his conviction of first-degree promotion of prison contraband (a Class-E Felony) in Cortland County Court on Monday.

This stemmed from an arrest in September of last year that included a plethora of charges. The original prison contraband charge occurred while Alex P. Toolan was being arraigned and processed in Cortland County Jail.

Toolan had a clear plastic bag of methamphetamine concealed in his right ankle prior to completing his arraignment. This specific charge went through Cortland city court, but Toolan had three charges through the town of Cortlandville, including menacing a police or peace officer; second-degree obstructing governmental administration; and resisting arrest.

On the night of Toolan’s arrest, he displayed a knife “in a threatening manner” towards an officer who was on scene investigating an “emotionally disturbed person complaint,” according to a county sheriff’s office report and court documents.

According to the pre-sentencing report read by judge Julie Campbell during Monday’s court session, Toolan had “no recollection of pulling a knife out at officers,” adding Toolan wasn’t aware he was in possession of a knife.

“(Toolan) indicated he ‘was out of it,’” Campbell noted via the pre-sentencing report, adding Toolan was under the influence of a “heavy amount of heroin and meth.” Toolan stated via the report he “didn’t know why the police were called or why he was arrested initially.”

Campbell mentioned during Monday’s session that the county’s alternatives to incarceration (ATI) program has had difficulty contacting Toolan, who’s been out of jail recently, since Nov. 2.

“To me, this is concerning,” Campbell said, questioning if Toolan would be able to keep up with his probation reports since he had difficulty staying in contact with ATI.

Campbell expressed “with trepidation” about how Toolan’s probationary period will go. If successful, Campbell added, there will be an application to withdraw from a felony plea and bring it down to a misdemeanor.

“This was the condition on substance abuse counseling,” Campbell said.

Jerome Mayersak, Toolan’s defense attorney, noted the sentencing is “appropriate,” but mentioned “all we can do is give him the opportunity to do this (probationary period).”

“Whether or not he falls through at the end of the day is completely up to my client,” Mayersak added.

Toolan’s probation will run until Nov. 28 of next year. He is due to reappear in county court on Nov. 30, 2023.

Campbell told Toolan to “follow through” with mental health and substance abuse counseling, along with regularly reporting to his probation officer.