Christopher McCullen arrived in Erie County Court on Monday morning having just completed a sentence for a previous larceny conviction.
He was looking for some assurance from the judge that he would get some credit in the new sentences for time already served on his previous conviction.
Judge Sheila A. DiTullio assured him of one thing: “This court always runs a just court."
And then she sentenced the 45-year-old career criminal to two consecutive sentences of 1 1/2 to 3 years for felony scheming to defraud and seven counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree. DiTullio also sentenced McCullen to six more terms of 1 1/2 to 3 years for the other convictions, to run concurrent with the consecutive sentences.
“You’ve been a criminal and a thief all your life,” the judge said. “You are a true danger to the community and you have shown no remorse.”
McCullen reportedly organized a group of thieves that targeted vehicles outside venues where the break-ins would go unnoticed for an hour or more, places like gyms, parks, theaters and restaurants. The group operated in Buffalo, Amherst and Depew between April and December 2014, with McCullen’s female accomplices using credit cards stolen from the vehicles to buy gift cards that could be converted into cash.
Nine codefendants previously pleaded guilty.
Before he was sentenced, McCullen told DiTullio he felt his time in jail was being miscalculated and wanted assurances that he would get some credit in the new sentences for time already served on his previous conviction. He already has written grievance letters, he said, and told the judge his constitutional rights were being violated by the court.