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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Store in Wilson looted of $2,000 in burglary

WILSON -- Nearly $2,000 was stolen overnight Sunday from a convenience store/gas station on Beebe Road in the town, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

Monday morning, a window at Trail's End Country Store was found broken and $150 was found stolen from a desk drawer, $1,277 from a security bag, several hundred dollars from a cabinet in a back office and $400 from two cash registers, deputies said.

The owner, Brenda Stunkel, told deputies that the power had gone off the night before, but the alarm system, which was connected to the phone system, was functioning properly. She told deputies there have been several burglaries in the past with the same point of entry, which is hidden from the road.

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ATV rider roughed up on old railroad line

NEWFANE -- A man said he was riding his all-terrain vehicle on an old railroad line when he was confronted and assaulted Sunday.

The 51-year-old Lockport-Olcott Road man told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that a man stopped him on the Hojac Railroad line and then pushed him off the ATV, grabbed his helmet and twisted his neck just after 12:30 p.m.

He said the attacker thought he was riding on his property, but the victim told deputies that he was riding on the railroad property.

A warrant was advised, according to deputies.

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Bus driver in Phelps case gets 1 year in prison

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III imposed the minimum sentence Monday on a former New York City bus driver who supplied a bag of cocaine to Niagara Falls drug kingpin David A. Phelps.

Anthony Barnett, 44, of Rosedale, L.I., was sentenced to one year in prison for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. The maximum sentence was nine years. Murphy said he was impressed by letters from Barnett's relatives attesting to his good character.

Defense attorney Mark Mahoney said Barnett was "a person who has good character and just made a really, really stupid decision."

Investigators for the state attorney general's Organized Crime Task Force staked out Barnett's bus in Queens on Aug. 17, 2007, and saw Phelps get on and leave shortly thereafter with a bag.

Since investigators were tapping Phelps' cell phone, they knew why he had driven overnight from Niagara Falls to meet Barnett.

When Phelps returned to Niagara Falls, police arrested him and seized 6.5 ounces of cocaine, after listening to Phelps use his cell phone to set up drug deals as he drove back across the state.

Phelps, 36, is serving four to six years in prison.

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10 years' probation given is sexual abuse of youth

LOCKPORT -- A man who sexually abused a 16-year-old youth Nov. 9 was placed on 10 years' probation Monday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Howard Harrison, 48, of 13th Street, Niagara Falls, had already served three months in jail before pleading guilty in August to third-degree criminal sexual act.

Sperrazza said she would have added a short jail term if that hadn't been the case.

She barred Harrison from contact with anyone under age 18 and from coming within 1,000 feet of any school.

Assistant District Robert A. Zucco said in court that Harrison and the youth had been drinking and using drugs, and Harrison thought the youth was 18.

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