• Published

LOCKPORT – A City of Tonawanda man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to third-degree burglary for his role in the Aug. 31 attempt to steal metal from an abandoned business in the Highland Technology Park on Highland Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Nicholas McConnaughey, 43, of Linwood Avenue, was assigned by County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment. He faces a maximum of seven years in prison if treatment doesn’t work.

McConnaughey and his co-defendant, Gerald Welker, 28, of Upper Mountain Road, Lewiston, were caught at the scene. The pair owes a collective total of $45,000 in restitution for building damage, Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said.

She said Welker entered the building, but police nabbed McConnaughey outside while he was pushing a shopping cart, allegedly to be used to haul away stolen metal items. Welker was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree criminal trespass and is awaiting sentencing.

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