CARMEL, N.Y. -- A New York City man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday after he violated the terms of his entry into Drug Treatment Court by continuing to deal heroin in and around Putnam County, according to District Attorney Robert Tendy.
Tiquan Lewis, 31, had entered into Drug Treatment Court after selling heroin to an undercover agent in January 2015. He had been admitted into Putnam County Drug Treatment Court after convincing the court his problems stemmed from drug addiction, the District Attorney said.
Lewis violated the conditions of Drug Treatment Court on Oct. 20, 2016 when he refused to give his probation officer the passcode on his phone during a routine search of his belongings. Lewis then attempted to remove information on his phone and later did provide the passcode to officials, the District Attorney said.
Officials, however, were able to recover the deleted texts and photos that proved Lewis was, indeed still dealing heroin in the area, the District Attorney said.
“He was gaming the system, pretending to be an addict in need of help when he was really nothing more than a dangerous distributor of heroin,” Tendy said. “Our treatment court is a wonderful program, and it has saved hundreds of lives; but if you abuse the privilege you’re going to regret it.”
In addition to evidence of narcotics sales, Lewis also had suspicious credit card information in the phone, including the name, address, and card information of a victim who confirmed that her card had recently been compromised. Text messages in his phone also showed that he often rented vehicles despite having a suspended license. On the day he was remanded, Lewis was in possession of keys to a Mercedes SUV that was later found in the parking lot to the courthouse.