Tompkins County Man Sentenced to 2-4 Years For Hallmark Store Hold-up
A Tompkins County man who admitted to robbing a Cortland store for drug money was sentenced to spend 2 to 4 years in State prison.
Back in December 35-year-old Joseph Drogalis formerly of 1057 Coddington Road, Ithaca pled guilty to a felony charge of grand larceny in connection with a hold-up at Jodie’s Gold Crown Hallmark Store on Main Street in Cortland last February.
Drogalis admitted he entered the store approached the clerk, said he had a gun in his pocket, and demanded money. Drogalis did not display a weapon, the clerk turned over $438 dollars, and Drogalis fled on foot.
Police later located him on Haskell place behind the Brix Restaurant, 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.
Police say he did not have a gun, and he admitted to taking the money to cover a drug addiction. No one was injured.
Drogalis initially rejected the plea offers and was preparing to take his case to trial.
Drogalis has previous convictions for a robbery in Ithaca; he was convicted of a felony charge of robbery in October of 2006.
Cortland County Assistant Prosecutor Carl Rosencranz says prison time was the only acceptable outcome in this case. Rosencranz says Drogalis is a danger to society; he needs to take advantage of drug rehabilitation programs while in prison.
Drogalis appologized for the hold-up and said Delaney did not deserve to have that happen, he promised the court that he would take advanatge of programs made available to him including finishing his bachelors degree.
County Judge William Ames recommended that Drogalis be accepted into a prison based drug rehabilitation program.