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Woman gets probation in drug case

A Niagara Falls woman, whose son died from a cocaine overdose shortly after she was charged with dealing the drug herself, was spared prison time Friday.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza told Leah A. Jakobi, "You lost your son to the lifestyle you adopted. There's nothing more I can do. I can't imagine anything worse."

Sperrazza placed Jakobi on five years' probation for her guilty plea to attempted third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a crime that could have sent her to state prison for as long as 5 1/2 years.

Jakobi, 43, of Devlin Avenue, is the mother of William B. Jakobi, 27, who was among three people who died from drug overdoses May 30 in the Caravelle Drive home of Leah Jakobi's mother.

Jakobi was among 13 people convicted in a probe of cocaine dealing at the Waterworks bar on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls last year.

A bartender at the Waterworks, Diana L. Giarrizzo, 40, of 101st Street, also was sentenced Friday, drawing a conditional discharge for attempted seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance. Defense attorney Edward P. Perlman said Giarrizzo never sold cocaine; she bought a half-gram for herself on three different occasions, spending a total of $150.

In another drug case, Sperrazza placed Marco J. Gray, a state parks employee in Niagara Falls, on six months' interim probation, pending a final sentencing decision.

Gray, 28, of Ninth Street, had pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance after being accused of making three drug deals last year while wearing his state uniform.


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