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Man gets 9 years for selling to drug ring

Christopher L. Cauley, called a major supplier to the Mister Sepe's Pizza cocaine ring in Niagara Falls, was handed a nine-year prison term Thursday, the harshest sentence yet for any of the 49 defendants who pleaded guilty in the case.

Cauley, 36, of Ely Avenue, Niagara Falls, will serve nine years for second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. Peter Talty, supervising investigator for the state Organized Crime Task Force, said Cauley sold nearly two ounces of cocaine on three separate occasions to Patrick T. Geracitano, a salesman for the ring who became a government informant.

However, John Pietrangelo, 41, of Niagara Falls, Ont., whom prosecutors also say was a cocaine supplier to the ring, had his sentencing postponed to Jan. 6.

His lawyer, Mark Mahoney, complained that efforts were being made to "smear" his client in the presentencing report by including allegations Pietrangelo hadn't admitted to when he pleaded guilty Aug. 11.

Two other members of the ring also were sentenced. Mark D. Hickey, 54, of Oriole Lane, Lewiston, will serve six months in jail to start a five-year probation term for third-degree conspiracy. He also was fined $5,000.

Robert J. Seger, 38, of Whitney Avenue, Niagara Falls, drew five years' probation, a $5,000 fine and 10 weekends in jail for fourth-degree conspiracy.

The Sepe ring was broken up by a Nov. 10, 2004, police roundup after an 18-month probe.

In another drug case, Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. imposed a three-year prison term on Quaid E. Thomas, 34, of 27th Street, Niagara Falls.

Thomas pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree sale of a controlled substance. He sold cocaine to undercover police at Summit Park Mall in Wheatfield Feb. 8 and three days later on Ferry Avenue in Niagara Falls.

In other court action, a Newfane man who pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse after being charged with raping a woman twice in one night was sent to prison for three years by Sperrazza.

Lyle E. Silversmith, 44, of Ide Road, assaulted the woman late June 11 in Krull Park, Olcott, and in the early hours of June 12 in her Lockport apartment.

David A. Glenn, who ransacked a community food pantry and two apartments above it after having been evicted from one of them a few days before, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary.

Glenn, 39, broke into the kitchen owned by the Niagara Community Action Program at 564 19th St., Niagara Falls, on Jan. 21. He stole clothing and food, according to Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Antholzner. Broderick scheduled sentencing for Feb. 9.

John W. Gates, 39, of Pierce Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree burglary for his role in a July 21 break-in at Bishara Brothers Deli, 1302 Pierce. Sperrazza scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27. A co-defendant, Maurice L. Brown, 42, of Pierce Avenue, is awaiting sentencing on the same charge.

Roger A. Voss, 50, of Underwood Court, Lockport, pleaded not guilty to a second-degree assault charge that accuses him of striking his wife with a metal Thermos bottle June 5.

Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm said Carol Voss suffered damage in her wrist, which deflected a blow allegedly aimed at her head.

James R. Felts, 52, of Willow Avenue, Niagara Falls, drew five years' probation and a $1,000 fine from Broderick for felony driving while intoxicated. Felts was arrested Jan. 2 in Niagara Falls.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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