SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An Ithaca man was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York announced on Wednesday.
Robert Payne, 39, of Ithaca, was indicted in December 2018 of conspiring to distribute cocaine, crack and fentanyl out of a Syracuse house. As part of a plea deal, Payne admitted to distributing 2.5 kilograms of cocaine to his co-defendant Daitwaun Fair.
The case garnered attention at the time due to the involvement of former Syracuse University Football wide receiver Marcus Sales, who was one of the 15 individuals arrested in the bust.
Payne will also serve a period of four years supervised release following his term in prison and will forfeit $112,500 in proceeds from his drug trafficking activity.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the New York State Police, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Commandeur.