Rattlesnake smuggler 'bitten' on all fronts
LOCKPORT -- A Waterdown, Ont., man who has been prosecuted on both sides of the border for smuggling rare rattlesnakes drew a $5,000 fine and a three-year conditional discharge here Friday from Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.
Emanuele Tesoro, 42, had pleaded guilty here to illegal commercialization of wildlife. In Canada, he drew $6,000 in fines and 90 days in jail for smuggling, and in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, he is to be ordered to forfeit his family van, which he used to drive the snakes across the border.
Tesoro was arrested Oct. 15 at Fashion Outlets mall in the Town of Niagara by an undercover Department of Environmental Conservation officer who had set up what Tesoro thought was a trade: 33 Eastern Massasauga rattlers from Tesoro for $1,100 and five timber rattlesnakes from the DEC man.
Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano said Tesoro owes $12,000 on the van, lost his job as an Ontario prison guard and will be kicked out of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve.
Tesoro said, "My house is for sale and my marriage is on the rocks."
Catalano said, "He's lost a great deal."
"For a rattlesnake?" Sperrazza replied.
Not guilty plea entered to felony DWI charge
LOCKPORT -- A Royalton man, arrested twice on drunken driving charges this year, pleaded not guilty Friday in Niagara County Court to felony driving while intoxicated counts handed up by a grand jury in both incidents.
Glenn H. Quintern, 50, of Chestnut Ridge Road, also was charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a lane violation and two counts of having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
Quintern was pulled over April 14 in the Town of Lockport and July 10 in the City of Lockport.
Reputed gang member is sentenced to prison
LOCKPORT -- A reputed member of a Niagara Falls gang was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday for inflicting a 26-stitch cut on a man's face last year with a scraper or box-cutter.
Spencer J. Bomberry, 23, of Walnut Avenue, had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the Aug. 4, 2008, attack on Donald Stewart, whom defense attorney James J. Faso said had intervened in an altercation between Bomberry and a woman.
Faso said Bomberry "was so intoxicated he doesn't remember much, if anything, of the incident."
Man pleads not guilty in police assault case
LOCKPORT -- A Wrights Corners parolee pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court to charges that he injured a Lockport police officer who tried to arrest him on a parole violation warrant May 24.
David S. Matyjasik, 32, of Ridge Road, is charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest and criminal impersonation in the tussle with Officer Salvatore Licata.
In another police assault case Wednesday, Tweile M. Tabb, 20, of Falls Street, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, resisting arrest and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Tabb allegedly tangled with Niagara Falls Officer Shaun Bielec when he pulled her car over April 27.
Probation violation nets year in jail
LOCKPORT -- A man who violated the terms of his probation in a burglary case was sentenced to a year in the Niagara County Jail by County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza on Friday.
William L. Jeffords Jr., 31, of 19th Street, Niagara Falls, was placed on probation in January 2006 after pleading guilty to third-degree burglary. He entered his ex-girlfriend's home March 4, 2005, and fought with a man there.