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Falls man to serve 6 to 8 years in assault, drug cases

LOCKPORT – State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. imposed consecutive sentences totaling six to eight years in prison Wednesday on a Niagara Falls man who injured a store clerk and sold more than half an ounce of cocaine in separate cases.

Dairous J. Stephens, 28, of Eighth Street, had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. “You’ve been involved in a series of crimes since 2005,” Kloch told him in explaining his choice of consecutive sentences.

Stephens fractured a store clerk’s nose and orbital bone by throwing a full bottle of beer at him July 24, 2015, in the Hometown Market on Pierce Avenue in the Falls. On Sept. 11, 2015, Stephens sold the cocaine to a police informant, also in Niagara Falls.

Assistant Public Defender Michael H. White blamed Stephens’ action on alcohol abuse, but Kloch quoted the store clerk as saying the injuries from the blow to the face could have been fatal. The man told a probation officer, “I have a stent in my brain. I’ve had 11 surgeries.”

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