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Gasport man says he chased two break-in suspects

GASPORT -- An elderly Humphrey Road man told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that he chased two men suspected of breaking into his home Wednesday afternoon.

The man told deputies that when he returned home, he discovered his rear door had been smashed and $300 in coins, two shotguns and a rifle were stolen. The loss was estimated at $1,900, deputies said.


Two indicted in assault outside bar in Newfane

LOCKPORT -- A slugfest outside a Newfane bar last year led to an indictment against two Newfane men that was unsealed Thursday in Niagara County Court.

Anthony A. Schultz, 28, of South Main Street, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree assault. Brian L. Renz, 30, of Lockport-Olcott Road, is scheduled for arraignment on the same charges Monday.

Assistant District Attorney Robert F. LaDuca Jr. said Schultz and Renz assaulted Jason Becker and Joseph Giambrone of Newfane outside Calhoon's Pub the night before Thanksgiving, and "put the boots to them."


Two get prison terms in drug-related cases

LOCKPORT -- Christopher C. Means, 33, of Niagara Street, Niagara Falls, drew a two-year prison sentence Thursday from Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Means had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling crack cocaine to a police informant Sept. 18, 2007, on West Avenue in the City of Lockport. He also forfeited $290 to police.

Also Thursday, Judge Matthew J. Murphy III ordered prison time for another drug defendant.

Dino G. Potalivo, 45, of Homestead Drive, North Tonawanda, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree possession for selling methadone and morphine Jan. 18 to an undercover officer in North Tonawanda.

Murphy said Potalivo will have to serve two years if he washes out of the secure drug treatment program to which he was assigned. Potalivo also was sentenced to one to three years behind bars for violating probation on a 2006 drunken driving conviction.


Serial rapist, 15, sentenced to 3 1/3 to 10 years in custody

LOCKPORT -- A 15-year-old Niagara Falls serial rapist was sentenced to 3 1/3 to 10 years in state custody Thursday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

The judge said Ricardo V. Ponds had committed "four or five rapes. The fact that he doesn't see it as rape makes it even more disturbing." The rapes -- all involving adult women -- occurred between last summer and last November, when Ponds was 14.

The Cleveland Avenue boy was indicted as an adult. Since state law bars multicount consecutive sentencing for juvenile offenders -- 14- or 15-year-olds charged with adult crimes -- prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to a single count of first-degree rape to wrap up the case.

Sperrazza said 3 1/3 to 10 years was the most the law allows for a juvenile offender convicted of rape. "I wish I could send him away longer," the judge said.


Man to serve sentences in 2 drug cases concurrently

LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man who pleaded guilty to drug possession here was given a concurrent sentence Thursday, to be served simultaneously with a five-year prison term he received for drug possession in Cayuga County.

Jermaine L. Williams, 23, of Lisbon Street, had pleaded guilty before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in the wake of his Oct. 21 arrest in the City of Lockport. He got an 18-month concurrent sentence in the Lockport case.


Role in assault brings one-year jail sentence

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man who took part in an assault on another man Nov. 3 was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Jacob N. Shimmel, 20, of Walnut Avenue, had pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and second-degree criminal trespass in the attack on Robert D. London, 44, of Walnut Avenue.

Co-defendant David E. Spencer, 22, of Cedar Avenue, received the same sentence on the same charges July 24.


Falls break-in leads to guilty plea in court

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Thursday in connection with a burglary in that city.

Pablo Morales, 28, of Fifth Street, admitted to attempted third-degree burglary and was scheduled for sentencing Dec. 11 by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Morales broke into a building on Haeberle Avenue on Aug. 2.


Falls driver denies gun possession charge

LOCKPORT -- Kevin D. Harris, 26, of Ferry Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a gun charge at his arraignment in Niagara County Court. Harris is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He allegedly had a loaded .32-caliber pistol when Niagara Falls police stopped his car Dec. 14.

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