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Falls man risks 18-year sentence in drug plea

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man who faced two separate drug indictments entered the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment Thursday after pleading guilty to two felonies in Niagara County Court.

Joseph J. Brinson II, 27, of Hyde Park Boulevard, could go to prison for as long as 18 years if he washes out of the diversion program. He admitted to third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. Brinson was charged with selling crack cocaine in the Falls on July 9, 2013, and Jan, 10, 2014, and also of having a bag of crack with him when Falls police stopped his car Sept. 9. An officer testified in a pretrial hearing that he saw a little girl moving around in the car instead of being in a child safety seat, and he saw Brinson pass a bag to his wife.

Defense attorney Robert Viola told County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III that Brinson has been taking painkillers for a back injury suffered in a car crash, and his physician will arrange for non-narcotic means of pain relief so Brinson doesn’t fail drug tests.