- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A drug suspect who shouted a threat to a witness has been convicted of witness tampering and weapons charges.

The U.S. attorney’s office says a federal jury in Rochester declined to convict 28-year-old James Sandford III on drug charges Tuesday after he said he didn’t know the synthetic marijuana he was accused of distributing was illegal.

Prosecutors say the witness tampering charge was filed after Sandford called a suspected witness a “snitch” and shouted an implied threat after his arrest in June 2015.

He was charged with possession of a stolen weapon after investigators say he traded synthetic marijuana for a stolen shotgun in a deal with a minor. With two prior felony convictions, Sandford wasn’t allowed to legally possess a gun.

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