Man Accused of Robbing Cortland Store Prepares to Take His Case to Trial
A Tompkins County man accused of robbing a Cortland store for drug money was in Cortland County Court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.
34-year-old Joseph Drogalis formerly of 1057 Coddington Road, Ithaca is facing robbery and other charges in connection with a hold up at Jodie’s Gold Crown Hallmark Store in Cortland last February.
Drogalis is accused of entering the store at 15 Main Street approaching the clerk there and informing them that he had a gun in his pocket and demanding money. Drogalis did not display a weapon, the clerk turned over $400 dollars, and Drogalis fled on foot police later located him on Haskell place behind the Brix Restaurant.
Police say he did not have a gun, and admitted to taking the money to cover a drug addiction. No one was injured.
Yesterday, attorneys held a pretrial hearing in the case. Cortland City Police Office Jesse Abbott who arrested Drogalis following the robbery and Officer Andy San Jule both testified about the arrests and how Drogalis was identified as a suspect.
A SUNY Cortland Student who witnessed the robbery followed Drogalis and pointed him out to police; the store owner Cindy Delaney later identified Drogalis as the suspect.
Drogalis County appointed Defense Attorney attempted to point out that the description of the suspects by witnesses, could have easily matched anyone.
The District Attorneys Office has offered two separate plea deals. Drogalis could plead guilty to a single count of robbery and prosecutors would recommend he be sentenced to 21/2-5 years in prison as a second felony offender.
Drogalis has previous convictions for a robbery in Ithaca; he’s due back in court next month.