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POLICE & COURTS

Judge gives man break in environmental case

LOCKPORT -- A Pendleton man who paid $300 to have more than half a ton of paint and solvents illegally buried in Hartland received a conditional discharge Wednesday from Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Remigius Czekaj, ), 69, of Mapleton Road, had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, fourth-degree endangering the public health, safety or welfare. The waste, buried on Randy Maedl's Bradley Road property in June 2004, cost the state Department of Environmental Conservation $12,258 to clean up; Czekaj was ordered to repay half of that.

Maedl, 51, is awaiting sentencing on the same environmental charge and on an unrelated count of soliciting a man to set his ex-girlfriend's Wheatfield home on fire in 2003.

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Falls man pleads guilty to misdemeanors

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man whose trial was to begin Wednesday before Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors instead.

Eugene C. Darrell Jr., 26, of Calumet Avenue, is to be sentenced April 26 for petit larceny and second-degree criminal contempt of court. Darrell, in violation of a court order of protection, struck an ex-girlfriend in Niagara Falls May 2 and stole a pair of headphones from her.

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Two plead guilty in separate shootings

LOCKPORT -- A reputed Buffalo gang member pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court Wednesday to charges that he shot and robbed a man in Niagara Falls in what prosecutors believe was a gang initiation.

Felix M. Cuevas, 19, of Utica Street, is to be sentenced April 12 for attempted second-degree robbery by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza. Cuevas, believed to be a member of the Gangster Killer Bloods, shot Antwon Wilson of Niagara Falls in the hip on Fourth Street Nov. 29, 2004, while robbing him of a gold chain.

In another Niagara Falls shooting case, Kentrel C. Thompson, 18, of Washburn Street, Lockport, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree reckless endangerment and was scheduled for sentencing April 26 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. Thompson fired a pistol at Diamond Kemp in an alley off 18th Street between Whitney and Pierce avenues in Niagara Falls June 27. The bullet missed.

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Woman admits assault with beer bottle

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls woman who assaulted another woman with a beer bottle in that city Dec. 2 pleaded guilty Wednesday before Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Diana Flinn, 29, of Elmwood Avenue, admitted to second-degree assault and was scheduled for sentencing April 11. The victim was badly cut on the head and face, court papers said.

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Guilty plea entered in molestation case

LOCKPORT -- A Ransomville man pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court Wednesday to molesting a 6-year-old girl in his parents' home late last year.

Larry J. Kunselman Jr., 30, of Youngstown-Lockport Road, admitted to first-degree sexual abuse and was scheduled for sentencing May 9 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. He was arrested Dec. 15.

In another plea before Broderick Wednesday, Colleen A. Rattigan, 39, of Raintree Parkway, Town of Tonawanda, admitted to attempted fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. She had 2.41 grams of cocaine when North Tonawanda police arrested her Sept. 19. Sentencing was set for May 10.

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Cabbie faces charges after taxi hits guard rail

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 62-year-old taxi driver was charged with driving while intoxicated Wednesday afternoon after his cab became wedged beneath a guard rail on the LaSalle Expressway.

State police were called to the scene at about 3:15 p.m. after a LaSalle Taxi, driven by Sher Kanwall of 60th Street lost control and hit the guard rail.

Trooper Jeffrey Mruk said Kanwall, who was off duty at the time, suffered minor cuts and abrasions. The cab carried no passengers, and no other cars were involved.

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Woman robbed of cash in University Plaza lot

Amherst police are investigating the reported theft of $200 from a woman in the University Plaza parking lot Tuesday night.

The 50-year-old Buffalo woman told police that the thief claimed to have a gun and put something up against her back. The robber then stole a bag or pouch from her with the cash inside.

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