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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Guilty plea entered to statutory rape

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty to statutory rape Friday for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in his apartment last year.

Tyler Craig, 23, of 20th Street, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree rape. He could be sent to state prison for as long as four years when he is sentenced April 17 by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Craig was living on Fourth Street in Niagara Falls at the time of the incident Jan. 25, 2008.

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3-vehicle crash injures three, one seriously

LOCKPORT -- One man was seriously injured and two others were being treated for injuries described as not life-threatening following a three-vehicle crash just before noon Friday on Transit Road in the Town of Lockport, Niagara County sheriff's officials said.

Deputies said a vehicle driven by Latricia Adams, no age listed, of Lockport, stopped to make a left turn near 6253 S. Transit Road, when a second vehicle, driven by William Mesler, no age listed, of Lockport, stopped behind her. A third vehicle, driven by Gregory Wisniewski, no age or address listed, rear-ended the Mesler vehicle, which then struck Adams' vehicle, police said.

Wisniewski was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, where he was listed in serious condition.

Adams was taken to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport; Mesler, to ECMC.

The crash remains under investigation. Sheriff's officials, however, said Adams' vehicle was not in a turning lane when the crash occurred.

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Rochester woman, 22, arraigned in shoplifting

LOCKPORT -- Mansa K. McNeil, 22, on Friday became the fourth Rochester woman to be arraigned in Niagara County Court in connection with a series of Lockport shoplifting incidents last year.

McNeil pleaded not guilty to third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree grand larceny. Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman said she was involved in a Sept. 11 incident at the Lockport Wal-Mart.

Previous arraigned on similar charges were Adrienne Williams, 43; Priscilla Gumpton, 42; and Florence M. Copp, 44. The Sept. 11 incident involved the theft of some $2,000 worth of video games. Other thefts allegedly occurred Aug. 28 and Sept. 5 at Wal-Mart and Sept. 2 at Blockbuster Video. Not every defendant was involved in every incident, Seaman said.

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Plea bargain taken in break-in case

LOCKPORT -- A Sanborn man pleaded guilty Friday in Niagara County Court to breaking into a vacant apartment complex in Niagara Falls last year -- a plea bargain that also will bring dismissal of criminal charge in an unemployment insurance scam.

Jacques R. Meness, 38, of Chew Road, admitted to attempted third-degree burglary in connection with the Aug. 16 break-in on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Police said at the time that copper pipes were stolen.

Assistant District Attorney Stephen J. Foley said Meness has repaid the state Labor Department for about half of the jobless benefits he collected while actually working for about four months in 2006. He is required to pay the remaining $1,620 as a condition of the plea deal. Sentencing by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza is set for April 23.

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Bridge officers find pot under golf clubs

U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers arrested a 51-year-old man at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on Friday after finding a stash of marijuana hidden under some golf clubs.

Donald Bracikowski, an American citizen who resides in Ridgeway, Ont., was arrested on a state charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Officers said 11 pounds of pot were found in a gym bag hidden under a set of golf clubs in the trunk of Bracikowski's car. They said Bracikowski told them he was entering the United States from Canada on his way to his factory job in the Buffalo area.

The estimated street value of the pot is $35,000, said Chief Kevin Corsaro, spokesman for Customs & Border Protection.

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$50,000 damage listed in Lockport garage fire

LOCKPORT -- Fire destroyed a detached garage at a Park Avenue home Friday morning, city Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Costello said.

The fire call came in just after 6 a.m. at 441 Park Ave., behind the home of Thomas and Sharon Burdick, Costello said. Damage was estimated at $50,000.

Costello said an electrical problem appears to have caused the fire.

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