Burglar in drug program breaks pact, is sentenced

— Photo from the Albany County District Attorney's Office

Curtis Brisson

GUILDERLAND — Curtis Brisson, who had pleaded guilty in December to burglarizing the Touch of Country shop in Hamilton Square, was sentenced on Wednesday morning by Judge Stephen Herrick in Albany County Court to 5 1/2 to 11 years in state prison.

Brisson, 41, of Albany, had burglarized Mugshot’s Coffee Shop in downtown Albany in 2012 and, after that, had been admitted to the Drug Court over which Herrick presides.

“The Albany County Drug Court holds defendants accountable while assisting participants to achieve long-term recovery to become law-abiding citizens and successful family and community members,” according to a description of the court posted on the district attorney’s website.

Defendants, who must be county residents at least 18 years old who have alcohol or drug-abuse problems and who have committed no violent crimes, have felony sentencing deferred for participation in the program. Participants must maintain sobriety, submit to random drug testing, and complete recommended treatment programs.

Brisson violated the conditions of his participation in the Albany County Drug Court program with his Nov. 11, 2013 arrest in Guilderland.

At about 8:45 p.m. on that day, Steven Irwin, the owner of the Hamilton Square store, at 2080 Western Ave., was working late when he heard a muffled banging sound.

Then, when he heard a loud cracking sound, he knew the store’s back door was being broken in, he told The Enterprise earlier. “I picked up the phone and dialed 9-1-1 and explained that someone was breaking in and they needed to send someone from the police department as soon as possible.”

Irwin remained on the phone with the dispatcher, he said, and moved to the front of the store, where it was dark, as he waited for the Guilderland Police to arrive.

“Honestly, I wasn’t frightened,” said Irwin. “I was just thinking to myself, ‘Be smart and keep yourself safe.’”

As Brisson entered the back hallway, “I told him, ‘Leave the store now,’ and I repeated that twice,” Irwin recalled. “As soon as he heard my voice, he ran.”

Guilderland Police arrived on the scene and arrested Brisson.

Brisson was sentenced on Wednesday to 2 ½ to 5 years for his burglary conviction that will be served consecutive to a 3- to 6-year sentence due his violation of the conditions of Albany County Drug Court for a total of 5 ½ to 11 years in state prison.

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