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Statutory rape suspect withdraws guilty plea

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man withdrew his guilty plea in a statutory rape case Friday after State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said he couldn't keep his promise to place him on probation.

Kloch said Justin D. Gore, 20, of Pierce Avenue, had been arrested in Niagara Falls on a stolen property charge since he entered his guilty plea Jan. 20. Also, Kloch said he learned that Gore has a conviction as a juvenile offender for a crime committed when he was 15.

Gore was indicted on charges of having sex with a 14-year-old girl in 2010 and of having three stolen rifle scopes in his home. A trial in the rape case has been scheduled for Aug. 13, with the stolen property case on hold until the sex case is settled.

In another sex case Friday, Kloch placed Gary L. Zimmerman, 54, of South Whitham Drive, Town of Niagara, on 10 years' probation for third-degree rape. Zimmerman forced himself on a woman in Porter on Aug. 6 in violation of New York's "no means no" law.

The woman spoke in court and urged Kloch not to imprison Zimmerman.


California man admits holding bad checks

A California man pleaded guilty Friday to possession of counterfeit securities.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Campana said Michael John Grady, 55, of Stockton, Calif., helped another man pass counterfeit MoneyGram checks at Home Depot locations in New York and other states.

Campana said Grady and the other defendant, Robert Shobert, 23, also of Stockton, were arrested at the Rainbow Bridge in January and charged with using counterfeit checks to purchase Home Depot merchandise and then returning it for cash refunds.

Shobert faces similar charges.

The pair's alleged crime spree came to an end thanks to a problem that has plagued many motorists before them: they inadvertently drove their car across the Rainbow Bridge toward Canada.

They were turned back on the Canadian side and their vehicle was inspected on the U.S. side of the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents.


Man pleads guilty to DWI in crash of stolen car

LOCKPORT -- A man who crashed a stolen car while he was drunk Oct. 14 in North Tonawanda pleaded guilty Friday in State Supreme Court.

Paul A. Hoyt, 34, whose last address was the Buffalo City Mission, admitted to felony driving while intoxicated. Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. immediately placed Hoyt on six months' interim probation and freed him from Niagara County Jail, where he had been for six months.

"I've got no objection to it. I got my pound of flesh already," Deputy District Attorney Theodore A. Brenner told Kloch.

Police accused Hoyt of checking cars on Lincoln Avenue in North Tonawanda with the intention of stealing loose change. When he found an unlocked car with the keys in it, he backed it out of the driveway as the owner pounded on the windows. The car careened across the street, struck a utility pole and was totaled.


Guilty plea lands man in drug treatment program

LOCKPORT -- Vintaun D. Weathers of Niagara Falls was admitted to a program of court-supervised drug treatment Friday after pleading guilty to selling cocaine Aug. 18 in the Town of Niagara.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said he'll probably grant Weathers a conditional discharge if he succeeds in the judicial diversion program. If he fails, Weathers faces up to nine years in prison.

Weathers, 27, of Linwood Avenue, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and agreed to forfeit $486 he was carrying when he was arrested.


Dealer sent to prison after failing diversion program

LOCKPORT -- A cocaine dealer who washed out of a court-supervised drug treatment program by selling more cocaine was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in state prison Friday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas.

Derrenus L. Brundidge, 29, of 10th Street, Niagara Falls, was caught selling cocaine in the City of Lockport on Oct. 21, 17 days after he had been admitted to the judicial diversion program.

In the first case, he had been arrested March 22, 2011, in Lockport, when police stopped his car and found 0.18 ounces of cocaine.


Ontario police seek suspect in stabbing

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A 37-year-old city resident is being sought by the Niagara Regional Police Service for allegedly stabbing another man during a fight at the Niagara Inn on Thorold Stone Road about 1:45 a.m. Friday.

Paul Millward is being sought for the stabbing of a 45-year-old man who was taken to Greater Niagara General Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Millward is described as a white male, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a stocky build and hair shaved on the sides and slightly longer on top.