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>Guilty plea entered over bogus auto titles

LOCKPORT -- A Queens man arrested Aug. 14 in Niagara Falls pleaded guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court to a felony count of possessing computer equipment that could be used to print bogus auto titles.

Shrinauth R. Lachhman, 29, admitted to a felony count of offenses related to motor vehicle certificates. Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. scheduled sentencing for April 10.


>Marijuana, $30,000 seized; two men arrested in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two men were charged with felony drug possession after city narcotics detectives found more than 20 pounds of hydroponic marijuana and more than $30,000 in cash.

Narcotics Detective John Galie said Wednesday that they had received reports from an out-of-town landlord that her home was being used without permission.

Curtis Nalls, 27, of Main Street, and Michael P. Prokopich, 26, of 76th Street, both were charged Monday with felony first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal trespassing. Both appeared in City Court on Tuesday. Nalls was released on $7,500 bail, and Prokopich was held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Galie said the two men had a connection to a former tenant and had been using the vacant apartment, without furniture, and using a stove for heat.


>Two cars damaged by large potholes

NIAGARA FALLS -- Large potholes damaged two cars in separate incidents Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. One car lost a wheel.

A 52-year-old Cayuga Drive woman said she was southbound on Lewiston Road near Clifton Avenue just after 7 p.m. Tuesday when she hit a pothole and heard a loud banging noise, which brought her car to a complete stop. Police found her wheel detached.

Another city woman told police she hit a pothole in the 1500 block of Whirlpool Street just before 4 a.m. Wednesday. She said her front tire blew out and the rim was damaged.


>Multiple charges placed against Falls resident

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police entered a home with guns drawn Tuesday after hearing a gun being cocked and the sound of arguing.

Police recovered a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and charged Anthony Bianco, 40, of 18th Street, with menacing, unlawful imprisonment and criminal mischief just before 3 a.m. at his home.

A 37-year-old woman told police that Bianco had become verbally abusive, overturned tables and chairs and then brandished the loaded gun saying, "There's no way you're leaving."

Police confiscated the gun from a bedroom closet, along with two boxes of shotgun shells.


>High-speed chase ends in crash and arrest

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man in a stolen car led state troopers on a 7 1/2 -mile chase Tuesday through the city and the Town of Wheatfield at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Randy L. Tate, 24, of Niagara Street, was stopped after he rear-ended another vehicle on River Road.

The other driver, identified only as man in his mid-40s, was treated in De Graff Memorial Hospital, North Tonawanda, for back, neck and abdominal injuries and released. Tate was not injured.

Trooper Donald Ginnane said Tate was currently on parole for armed robbery and was wanted on a felony warrant out of Indiana charging breaking and entering.


>Cocaine ring member gets time served

LOCKPORT -- A key figure in the Niagara Falls-based Clayton "Iceberg" Green cocaine ring was sentenced to time served Wednesday.

Jeremy Scott, 28, of Juanita Drive, Town of Niagara, had pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance last August and was promised a three-year prison sentence if he cooperated with prosecutors. Assistant Attorney General Robert J. Lee of the state Organized Crime Task Force said that Scott's willingness to testify forced some of the 14 other defendants to plead guilty.

The only problem was that the charge to which Scott pleaded guilty doesn't legally exist. Lee said he decided to let Scott plead guilty again, to third-degree possession, and Scott then was sentenced to a year in prison by Broderick. Since Scott had already been in jail for 10 months, he already has served more than the two-thirds of the sentence necessary for a first-time felon to be released.


>Store worker avoids jail time for theft

LOCKPORT -- The former manager of the Kayak Pools store in North Tonawanda avoided jail time Wednesday for stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Florian J. Antowski, 47, of Juanita Place, Buffalo, had pleaded guilty to second-degree falsifying business records. Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. sentenced him to three years probation, 40 hours of community service and five weekends in the county work program.

Kayak Pools accused him of stealing $36,000 worth of merchandise, but the restitution amount was set at $4,583 at the time of the plea because that's what was specifically cataloged.

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