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LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man was placed on five years' probation Tuesday for selling drugs.

Ronald L. Sconiers, 43, of Willow Avenue, had pleaded guilty before County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Sconiers was charged with selling cocaine to a police agent in Lockport on Nov. 8, 1999.

Sconiers is still facing two counts of attempted second-degree robbery stemming from an alleged Aug. 18 attempt to rob a driver in his car at Pierce Avenue and 17th Street in Niagara Falls. He has pleaded not guilty to those counts.

Niagara Falls man arrested
on welfare fraud charges

NIAGARA FALLS -- Patrick P. Brown, 54, of Ontario Avenue, has been arrested on welfare fraud charges for stealing $8,747 in benefits from the Niagara County Social Services Department, authorities said.

Niagara County sheriff's Investigator Scott Barnes said he charged Brown with third-degree grand larceny, misuse of food stamps and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing after Brown lied about his income to obtain the benefits.

Brown received $3,866 in public assistance money, $1,170 in food stamps and $3,711 in medical assistance from Jan. 13 through July 11, 2000, that he was not entitled to, Barnes said.

Early-morning fire destroys
pickup truck in driveway

BARKER -- Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire early Tuesday that destroyed a pickup truck in the driveway of a Quaker Road home, said Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Michael J. Leggett.

The owner noticed the vehicle -- with its engine running and horn sounding -- was engulfed in flames at 3:44 a.m., Leggett said.

The fire was extinguished hy Barker Fire Company volunteers.

Fire Chief David Hotaling said the fire did not appear to be suspicious. The loss was estimated at $20,000.

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