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POLICE & COURTS

>Georgia man charged with gun possession

A Fort Stewart, Ga., man was charged Thursday with criminal possession of a weapon, a .45-caliber handgun, Canisius College public safety officers said.

James D. Harden Jr., 22, was at a Florida Street address at about 1 a.m. when officers were flagged down because of an argument, police said.

The gun was contained in a holster, police added.

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>Man accused of stealing copper from job site

A Reed Street man was charged Thursday with criminal trespass and possession of stolen property, Buffalo police said.

Zephraniah Sanford, 42, who was arrested in a Locust Street house at about 7:30 a.m., had about 130 feet of copper that was spray-painted red and blue.

Other copper pipes were unpainted, police added.

The copper pipes were stolen between 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and early Thursday from a building being built on Orange Street by Camparelli Construction of Cheektowaga, police said.

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>Cooperation brings minimum drug sentence

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. on Thursday sentenced a Niagara Falls drug dealer to prison for 3 1/2 years.
Artez Houston, 35, of Whitney Avenue, received the minimum sentence for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Broderick said that was because Houston cooperated with the prosecution of three other suspects who pleaded guilty in the case of a cocaine ring headed by Brian C. Young, 31, of Grand Island, who also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

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>Chemical spill at plant contained and cleaned up

WHEATFIELD -- A chemical spill Friday morning inside the Saint Gobain plant at 6600 Walmore Road was contained and cleaned up by the Niagara County hazardous materials team and volunteer firefighters.

It took 30 hazmat workers and firefighters five hours to secure the area, said Jack Lyon, the county's deputy fire coordinator.

"The big threat was that it could ignite," Lyon said.

Fire was prevented, and no one was injured, according to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

Just before 9 a.m., a 500-gallon tank of hydrogen peroxide fell off a forklift, split open and spilled the chemical over a 7,500-square-foot section of the plant's receiving area.

Company officials cleared the area as firefighters from the Bergholz Fire Company and the hazmat crew diluted the chemical with water and swept it into an empty loading dock. The liquid was later pumped into the county sewer system.

Saint Gobain produces abrasives for the manufacturing industry.

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>Two-year prison term set in baseball bat attack

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Porter man who invaded a Niagara Falls home Sept. 30 and struck the resident with a baseball bat was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday by City Judge Mark A. Violante.
Christopher Ripley, 25, of Balmer Road, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree robbery.

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>Man to be extradited in Virginia DWI case

JAMESTOWN -- A city man is being held in Chautauqua County Jail pending extradition to Virginia for allegedly violating his probation.

Jamie Nelson, 32, of Barrett Avenue was arrested in his home Thursday by Jamestown police. Nelson is wanted in Stafford County, Va., for allegedly violating terms of his release for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

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>Reduced plea accepted in marijuana smuggling

LOCKPORT -- A woman who was paid $300 to smuggle almost 10 pounds of marijuana over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court.
Kokeda L. Wright, 22, of 25th Street, Niagara Falls, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

She was arrested at the Niagara Falls border crossing Oct. 20, 2005. Wright said she was paid by a man whom she knew only by the street nickname of "Gittim." Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. scheduled sentencing for June 7.

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>Rushford man admits vehicular manslaughter

BELMONT -- A Rushford man will serve six months in Allegany County Jail after a guilty plea to second-degree vehicular manslaughter.

Toby J. Taylor, 20, also was assessed a $270 surcharge and placed on probation for five years by Allegany County Judge James E. Euken.

District Attorney Terrence M. Parker said Taylor was drunk and driving recklessly Nov. 12 in Rushford, causing the death of James D. Bliss.

Taylor also had been charged with driving while intoxicated, but his manslaughter plea cleared that charge, Parker said.

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