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Illegal possession of gun brings year in county jail

LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man who pleaded guilty to illegally having a loaded handgun was sentenced Wednesday to one year in Niagara County Jail.

Lee E. Wells, 34, of Goodyear Avenue, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Niagara Falls police found the pistol when they stopped Wells' car for speeding Feb. 20.


Drug dealer sentenced to 2 1/2 -year prison term

LOCKPORT -- Jonathan M. Johnson, a Buffalo drug dealer who sells cocaine in Lockport, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Wednesday by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., who could add up to five more years to the penalty when he sentences Johnson March 19 on more drug charges.

Johnson, 20, of Peckham Street, was sentenced Wednesday for fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He pleaded guilty to that charge last March. It resulted from a raid on an apartment on Dysinger Road in Lockport on July 3, 2007, when Niagara County Drug Task Force agents caught him with more than half a gram of cocaine.

Besides the sentencing Wednesday, Johnson pleaded guilty to another fifth-degree possession count for having cocaine in his car when Lockport police stopped it May 28 on Niagara Street and to third-degree sale of cocaine for making a drug deal in Lockport Dec. 16. Kloch agreed to give Johnson no more than five years for those felonies.


Treatment program ordered in drug case

LOCKPORT -- A Town of Tonawanda man was sentenced to the state prison's system's secure drug treatment facility Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Christopher J. Cassenti, 25, of Chaplin Drive, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling cocaine to a police informant in North Tonawanda April 11. If Cassenti washes out of the 90-day treatment program, he will have to serve four years in prison.


Man accused of attack on woman remains jailed

LOCKPORT -- A city man was arraigned Monday in City Court on charges he broke into an Urban Park Towers residence last week and assaulted a woman.

John M. Peace, 39, of Robinson Place, pleaded not guilty to third-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, menacing, burglary and harassment. He was ordered held in the Niagara County Jail on $7,500 bail.

A 35-year-old woman told police that Peace knocked on the door to her apartment at 5 a.m. Thursday and, when the two argued, he would not let her leave. She said he punched her in the right eye, threw her on the ground and then finally stopped when he saw blood on her face, then begged her not to press charges. Police said they found the woman with multiple injuries to her face, neck, back and chest that required medical attention.

The manager said Peace had been banned from Urban Towers since Nov. 19 but used a screwdriver to enter through a side door.


Plea of not guilty entered in stabbing

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to charges that he stabbed his girlfriend in the abdomen, while they were on the porch of their Eighth Street home June 1.

Russell B. Wright Jr., 26, was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

"He says it was an accident," Assistant Public Defender Alfonso M. Bax said. Wright was not arrested until Oct. 18.

"If I had meant to kill her, I would have," court papers quoted Wright as telling police. "We were all coked up."


Man sentenced to prison for Falls break-in in '05

LOCKPORT -- A burglar was sentenced to 1 1/2 to three years in prison Tuesday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Roderick E. Stewart, 47, of South Avenue, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary after a DNA sample tied him to a burglary that occurred at a house on Seventh Street in Niagara Falls between Oct. 17 and 24, 2005.

A state crime lab matched the sample, which Stewart gave after another burglary conviction in 2006, to a bloodstain found in the Seventh Street house.

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