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Judge sticks with sentencing plan despite drug dealer’s attitude

LOCKPORT – Niagara Falls crack dealer Naquan M. Mathews was sentenced Thursday to a year in the Niagara County Jail, although it was apparent County Judge Sara Sheldon wanted to give him a longer sentence.

Mathews, 24, of Cleveland Avenue, had been promised the one-year term when he pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling $120 worth of crack to a police informant April 15 in Niagara Falls.

Sheldon noted that a probation officer compiling a presentencing report told her that Mathews showed up under the influence of drugs for his first interview appointment and skipped the second, leading to him being jailed without bail until the report was done. The judge said she hadn’t made cooperation with the presentencing interview a condition of the sentencing pledge, so she didn’t think she could renege on it.

Mathews eventually told the interviewer he thought he was “set up” by the informant. Sheldon also learned that Mathews had been arrested in November on a stolen property charge, which remains unresolved.