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Man's body is pulled from lower Niagara River

PORTER -- A man's body was pulled out of the lower Niagara River by the U.S. Coast Guard early Friday afternoon, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office reported.

The sheriff's office notified Coast Guard officials after a call was received at about 2 p.m.

Both the identity of the dead man and the cause of his death remained under investigation Friday evening.

On Saturday, a 22-year-old man who was studying at Niagara College in Southern Ontario went into the river to cool off and was swept into the whirlpool.


Judge delays sentence so burglar will smarten up

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas squelched a burglar's plan for his own sentence Friday.

Michael P. McCarthy, 18, of Grand Avenue, Niagara Falls, had been deemed eligible for a two-year court-supervised drug treatment program. But he simply wanted to plead guilty to third-degree burglary and serve a year in jail "so he can complete the term and get on with his life," defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said.

"You'd rather go to jail for a year than get clean and sober. Wow," Farkas said. "He needs a major wake-up call, and a year in Niagara County Jail isn't going to give it to him."

The case was adjourned until June 14 for McCarthy to reconsider his options. He and Ulysses R. Jones, 22, of Ashland Avenue in the Falls, are charged with a Jan. 30 break-in at a home on Mountain View Drive in Lewiston.


Copper thief spared jail for drug treatment program

LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man was admitted to a drug treatment program after pleading guilty Friday to the theft of copper pipes Sept. 22 from the former Heritage Manor Nursing Home on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Charles G. Delano, 26, of Northrup Place, became the second defendant State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. spared incarceration since he announced in April that any metal theft case before him must result in jail time.

But Delano, who admitted to third-degree burglary, faces up to seven years behind bars if he flunks out of the two-year judicial diversion program.


Suspect in $50,000 theft of metal pleads not-guilty

LOCKPORT -- Patrick J. Dugan, 28, of Walmore Road, Wheatfield, pleaded not guilty Friday to a five-count indictment accusing him of stealing about $50,000 worth of metal objects from the Summit, a Wheatfield shopping mall.

Dugan's co-defendant, Anthony C. LoPiccolo, 43, of Colvin Boulevard, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty Wednesday in State Supreme Court to third-degree grand larceny and was placed in the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

Dugan, who also faces a separate indictment charging him with smuggling drugs into the Niagara County Jail, is charged with third-degree grand larceny, second- and fourth-degree criminal mischief, and two counts of third-degree possession of stolen property.


Man, woman deny charges of cocaine sale, possession

LOCKPORT -- Two defendants accused of selling cocaine in the City of Lockport pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court.

Thursday, Anthony J. Ervin, 27, of Warren Street, Buffalo, denied two counts each of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. He allegedly sold crack cocaine April 19 and May 2, 2011.

Wednesday, Laura B. Yeates, 36, of Clinton Street, Lockport, pleaded not guilty to the same charges. She is accused of selling cocaine to a police informant on Genesee Street in Lockport Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.


Probation violator gets jail for 2007 drug conviction

LOCKPORT -- A Lockport woman was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail for her second violation of probation on a 2007 drug charge.

Danielle K. Baker, 23, had been returned to probation in February by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III but violated the rules again by associating with the father of her child, a convicted drug dealer.

In another drug sentencing Thursday, Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas placed Steven A. Thompson on probation for five years.

Thompson, 27, of River Road, Wheatfield, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling oxymorphone twice in May 2011 at his home.


Woman gets jail, probation in attempt to obtain drugs

LOCKPORT -- A woman who drove to three Rite Aid stores June 24, seeking to obtain drugs without a prescription, was sentenced Wednesday -- "astoundingly," in the judge's own description -- to six months in jail and a subsequent 4 1/2 years of probation.

Barbara A. Vaughn, 34, of Harvey Avenue, pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to two counts of attempted second-degree grand larceny, which could have brought her up to 14 years in prison. She quickly flunked out of a court-run drug treatment program. Her sentence will include 50 days in the county work program.