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Lockport police charge 2nd man in burglary

LOCKPORT -- Lockport police have charged a second man wanted in the burglary of nearly $4,000 from the Snowflake Ski Shop last summer.

Michael Gutshow, 18, formerly of Lockport, agreed to return from Florida to face charges of third-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny, Detective Lt. John Yotter said Friday.

Gutshow had been living in Sarasota. He and David G. Smith II, 19, of West Caledonia Street, are accused of forcing open a door at the Transit Street shop on July 10, Yotter said.

An alarm went off, but the owner didn't realize the office had been broken into. The next day, she found a small safe had been stolen. The safe contained $3,856. Smith was arrested on the same charges last week.

"The money has all been spent," Yotter said. "[Smith] told us he was homeless and spent all the money on food."


Cocaine possession brings year sentence

LOCKPORT -- Brandon H. Carter, 20, of 10th Street, Niagara Falls, was sentenced Friday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza to a year in the County Jail for cocaine possession.

Carter had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for having .17 ounces of cocaine Dec. 6, 2007, when he was arrested on Pierce Avenue in Niagara Falls.

Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm said other charges are pending against Carter, who has been offered a chance to plead guilty to third-degree burglary for alleged incidents Oct. 10 and Nov. 10 and 11 in Niagara Falls.


Burglar, 19, faces term of up to 7 years

LOCKPORT -- Casey D. Hayes, 19, of Gasport Road, Royalton, pleaded guilty Friday in Niagara County Court to burglarizing a Gasport Road home April 24.

Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said Hayes will be sentenced on the first anniversary of the crime and could receive up to seven years in state prison for third-degree burglary.


Falls couple among 3 admitting drug charge

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls husband and wife pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges Friday before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, who is to sentence them March 27.

Frank A. Rotella, 25, and Joanna M. Rotella, 21, of 60th Street, each admitted to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Niagara Falls police said they found two bags of cocaine weighing nearly seven grams when they checked out the Rotellas smoking marijuana in their parked car outside a Buffalo Avenue gas station March 19.

Pleading guilty to the same charge in a separate case Friday was Elon C. Nelson, 20, of 20th Street, Niagara Falls. He is to be sentenced March 20 for having 1.1 grams of cocaine with him when Niagara Falls police pulled his car over for traffic infractions May 11.


Police charge two with drug possession

LOCKPORT -- Two 30-year-old city residents were arrested in a car on High Street on Friday morning, as police said they found 11 small plastic bags of marijuana and five tablets of hydrocodone.

The driver, Dawn L. Taylor of Washington Street, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance -- the alleged hydrocodone -- and failure to signal a turn.

Her back-seat passenger, Genaro Gonzalez of Prospect Street, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Officer Rodney Peters said Gonzalez had the 11 bags of marijuana inside a larger plastic bag.

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