ITHACA, N.Y. — A man accepted a plea deal in court Monday afternoon after police found him with crack cocaine at the beginning of October in Ithaca.

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Leonard C. Sterling, 40, of the Bronx, was convicted of fifth-degree felony criminal possession of controlled substance. He pleaded down after initially being charged with felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, which carried a maximum sentence of 2.5 years in prison and a year of post-release supervision.

The reduced charge is capping his sentence to 60 days in jail, which he has already served, and five years of post-release supervision.

Related — Ithaca police: Man charged with having crack cocaine

He will also have to forfeit over $3,000 police officers found in his posession, along with any cell phones recovered at the scene.

Police said they executed a search warrant on Sept. 25, at a home on the 200 block of East Buffalo Street, as part of an investigation into heroin and crack cocaine trafficking involving Sterling.

Officers found 5.2 grams of crack cocaine packaged for sale in 16 baggies.

Sterling was taken into custody at the scene and released from jail about two weeks ago.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 19 at the Tompkins County Courthouse.

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Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.