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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Driver ejected from pickup still in critical condition

WILSON -- A Ransomville man ejected from his pickup in a one-vehicle crash Saturday remained in critical condition Monday in Erie County Medical Center.

Christopher Brant, 23, of Andrews Road, was taken by Mercy Flight to ECMC at 12:42 a.m., after he was found in the roadway following a crash at Cambria-Wilson and New roads.

A Niagara County Sheriff's Office preliminary investigation found that Brant's pickup was heading south on Cambria-Wilson Road (Route 425) when it left the roadway on the west side of the road, then struck a fire hydrant, a tree and embankment. The truck then briefly re-entered the roadway before landing in a yard at 4075 Chestnut Road.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti said.

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Sale of painkillers brings jail, probation for man, 44

LOCKPORT -- A Shelby man will serve six months in jail to start a five-year probation stint for selling painkillers, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered Monday.

Thomas L. Williams, 44, of West Shelby Road, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling hydrocodone in the Town of Lockport on Nov. 9, 2010. Williams was living in the City of Lockport at the time.

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Driver with 2 prior DWIs charged again in Wilson

WILSON -- A North Ridge Road man with two prior driving while intoxicated convictions was pulled over and charged with DWI by Niagara County sheriff's deputies just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday on Youngstown-Lockport Road.

Donald J. Rolfe, 52, was "highly intoxicated" and found to have a blood-alcohol level 2 1/2 times the legal limit after he was stopped for crossing the center line into oncoming traffic multiple times, according to Niagara County sheriff's deputies.

Rolfe was charged with felony DWI, aggravated DWI, driving on the shoulder, failure to keep right and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle. Deputies said a six-pack of beer was found in the front seat. Rolfe told deputies he had a "few beers" and had just come from buying more beer.

He was convicted of DWI on Oct. 28, 2002, and March 21, 2006, deputies said.

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State police charge seven with DWI over weekend

State police arrested seven people for driving while intoxicated over the weekend, including one person charged with felony DWI and another accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit.

Troopers from the Clarence barracks charged Brian E. White, 41, of Clarence, with felony DWI, after stopping him for speeding at about 9:45 p.m. Friday on Wehrle Drive in the Town of Clarence. The felony charge was lodged because of a prior DWI conviction, troopers said.

At about 3:20 a.m. Saturday, state police at Alden stopped Ryan M. Petrie, 24, of Williamsville, for failure to keep right on Transit Road in the Town of Clarence. A chemical test later revealed that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 percent, according to police reports.

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California man pleads guilty in counterfeit check scam

A California man pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to possessing counterfeit MoneyGram checks.

Robert A. Shobert, 23, of Stockton, Calif., passed counterfeit MoneyGram checks at Home Depot locations in Louisiana, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and other states from late October 2011 until January, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Campana, who is handling the case.

Shobert and Michael J. Grady, 55, also of Stockton, inadvertently drove their car across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls toward Canada and were turned back on the Canadian side.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents conducted a secondary inspection of the vehicle and found unopened Home Depot merchandise, such as locks and electrical and plumbing equipment, as well as 19 counterfeit MoneyGrams in $500 and $1,000 denominations. More than $5,000 in cash also was seized, Campana said.

Shobert used counterfeit checks to purchase merchandise and then returned merchandise for cash refunds. The scheme caused losses of about $76,000.

Grady pleaded guilty April 20 and will be sentenced by Skretny on Aug. 2.

Shobert, who will be sentenced Aug. 15, faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, when he is sentenced Aug. 15.

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Man ejected from bar accused of hitting guard

A Lisbon Avenue man was charged with assault and harassment for allegedly slugging the security guard who forced him to leave the Thirsty Buffalo Bar & Grill on Elmwood Avenue early Sunday.

Dominic T. Minor, 22, was arrested by Buffalo Police Officers David Acosta and Stephen Schultz outside the bar shortly before 3 a.m.