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POLICE & COURTS

>Man takes jail over probation in rape

LOCKPORT -- A man who pleaded guilty in a statutory rape case decided Tuesday that he'd rather go to jail for a year than be on probation for 10 years. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza granted his request.

Miguel Garay, 21, of Hawley Street had sex with a 14-year-old girl Aug. 20. He had pleaded guilty to a reduced count of attempted second-degree rape. He could have received up to four years in prison, but when he pleaded guilty Jan. 26, Sperrazza committed to giving him no more than a year.

Defense attorney Matthew P. Pynn said he normally would have argued for probation, but Garay told him not to.

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>Sentencing set May 16 in felony DWI case

LOCKPORT -- Seth D. Gugliuzza, 24, of Erna Drive, pleaded guilty to a felony count of driving while intoxicated Tuesday before Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr., who scheduled sentencing for May 16.
Gugliuzza was arrested by City of Lockport police Jan. 3 on Evans Street after a brief pursuit. Police reported at the time that they saw his auto turning right from Walnut Street to Washburn Street from the center lane without using a signal and then crossing the center line on Washburn.
In another drunken driving case before Broderick, Michaelene A. Bradley, 58, of Rainbow Park, Ransomville, was placed on three years' probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 30 days of community service. Bradley pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DWI in the wake of a Sept. 28 arrest in Wilson.

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>Search warrant nets arrests on drug charges

LOCKPORT -- Two people were charged with two counts each of felony drug possession after a search warrant was issued on Lock Street Monday night.

Niagara County Drug Task Force Investigator Scott Barnes and Lockport Police Detective Kevin Newman charged Daryl J. Means, 36, of Linwood Avenue, Niagara Falls, and Shemika L. Smith, 22, of Elmwood Avenue, with third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, after crack cocaine and marijuana were found.

Task Force Chief Mark Driess said investigators also found scales and packaging materials.

Means was on probation and Smith was on parole at the time, Driess added.

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>Atlanta man pleads guilty in drug case

LOCKPORT -- An Atlanta man pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree criminal possession of marijuana in Niagara County Court Tuesday.
Keith Whyte, 30, is to be sentenced June 6 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. Whyte tried to smuggle 1.74 pounds of marijuana over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada on April 17.

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>Police issuing warrant seize drug, arrest man

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies said they seized marijuana with a street value of $2,000 while issuing a warrant on Remick Parkway on Friday.

Milton C. Crenshaw, 28, of Remick was charged by Niagara County sheriff's deputies and Lockport police with felony third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Crenshaw, who was found hiding under covers in a bedroom, also was charged with hindering prosecution and a parole violation. Police said, after finding marijuana in a refrigerator crisper drawer, they also charged Crenshaw with criminal possession of marijuana and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

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>Nursing home closed in 2002 damaged in arson

Arson is being blamed for a fire Monday afternoon at a former Buffalo nursing home, authorities said.

Fire officials reported that flames ignited in 300 Manhattan Ave., the former site of Gardens at Manhattan Health and Rehabilitation Center, just before 5:30 p.m.

Damage was estimated at $175,000 to the building and $35,000 to its contents. No injuries were reported.

In September 2002, the nursing home, part of Zacher Healthcare, was forced to stop all new admissions after a state investigation found numerous deficiencies involving care of residents.

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