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Oswego man convicted of robbing Orchard Park teen in fake pot deal

An Oswego man has been convicted of robbing an Orchard Park teenager near Green Lake after offering to sell him what the defendant claimed was marijuana but turned out to be grass clippings and leaves.

A State Supreme Court jury on Thursday found Charles Pellis guilty of second-degree robbery, according to District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III. He faces up to 15 years in prison when Justice Christopher J. Burns sentences him April 23.

Pellis, 23, formerly of Orchard Park, and co-defendant Donald Reardon, 24, who was wanted on a burglary charge in Oswego, left that city on foot in August 2013.

On their way out west, the two men stopped in Orchard Park where they set up camp at Yates Park near Green Lake.

By Sept. 12, 2013, they were desperate for money and arranged to sell a bag of marijuana to a 15-year-old, but when the teen asked to inspect the fake pot, they took him to a wooded lot behind Green Lake, where Reardon punched him and put him in a headlock while Pellis took his pants containing $3 and a cellphone, Sedita said. They left the teen unconscious and fled.

They were arrested the next day by Orchard Park police.

Reardon pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery in Erie County Court and faces up to seven years in prison when Judge Kenneth F. Case sentences him March 31. He is currently serving a state prison sentence for the Oswego burglary.

Pellis also faces sentencing in Oswego for raping a 14-year-old girl.

Assistant District Attorneys Patrick B. Shanahan and Nathaniel C. Kapperman prosecuted the case.