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Falls man gets 27-year term in shooting

A 22-year-old Niagara Falls man was sentenced to a total of 27 years and eight months in prison for his part in a 2007 holdup and shooting of a federal informant during an illegal gun purchase in Niagara Falls, acting U.S. Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter reported Thursday.

Alphonso Moody pleaded guilty in November to two counts, assault and robbery along with the unlawful use of a firearm.

Moody was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to two consecutive terms of 166 months in federal prison. The prison terms will be followed by five years of supervised release, according to federal officials.

The incident took place Jan. 11, 2007, in the parking lot of a Niagara Falls Wal-Mart store. An individual cooperating with federal officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives was given $1,500 in government cash to buy five firearms from Moody and Gary N. James Jr.

Moody and James arranged for another man, Jermaine G. Ellison, to drive them to the location where they planned to show a firearm for sale before reneging on the deal and robbing the government witness.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard P. Maigret, who prosecuted the case, said James threatened the informant with a pistol he was carrying and Moody forcibly stole money from him before James then shot the witness in the leg.

James and Moody attempted to flee as federal agents and Niagara Falls police converged on the scene, authorities said. That's when James turned back and fired a shot, which struck a government vehicle and came within six inches of striking a federal agent. All three men pleaded guilty in connection with the incident.

Ellison was previously sentenced by Arcara to three years, 10 months in prison for his part. James is still awaiting sentencing; a date has yet to be set.

e-mail: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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