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Sister of overdose victim pleads guilty in meth case

LOCKPORT – A Lockport woman whose sister died of a drug overdose last year pleaded guilty Thursday to felony possession of methamphetamine.

Justine D. Crawford, 26, of Hawley Street, told Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon of the tragedy as she was pleading guilty to a reduced charge of attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

“And yet you used drugs?” the judge asked.

“Stupidly, yes,” answered Crawford. Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict said at a previous court appearance that Crawford had used meth three or four times a week for a period of 12 to 18 months. She was arrested Sept. 26 when Lockport police found a mobile meth lab in the back of her van on Walnut Street.

Assistant District Attorney Ryan K. Parisi told Sheldon that the prosecution was recommending probation, although the maximum sentence is 18 months in prison. Sheldon will make the decision June 1.