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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Falls man sentenced for cocaine possession

A Niagara Falls man was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to 18 1/2 years in prison for possessing half a pound of powder cocaine and another pound of crack cocaine, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said Tuesday.

Dwandell Williams, 33, who was convicted earlier this year, had been arrested in April 2009. Federal authorities found the drugs and digital scales during a search of his home and car, according to Mary Clare Kane, assistant U.S. attorney. Williams' arrest came six months after his release from federal prison for a cocaine-possession conviction, authorities said.

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Town of Niagara firefighter in court for DWI hearing

WHEATFIELD -- The president of a Town of Niagara volunteer fire company got another court date for a charge of driving while intoxicated after an appearance Tuesday night in Wheatfield Town Court.

Robert E. Jasper Jr., of St. Joseph Road, briefly appeared before Town Justice John J. Mattio for a pretrial hearing.

Jasper, 30, had been charged with DWI after the fire company SUV he was driving struck another vehicle near Niagara Falls Boulevard and Sy Road on the early morning of June 6. He registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.11 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08, according to a Niagara County Sheriff's Office incident report.

Jasper, who is due back in court next month, remains president of Niagara Active Hose Company but has been taken off active duty and no longer has access to the fire company vehicle, the company's attorney has previously said.

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Eight years in prison possible in shooting plea

LOCKPORT -- A Ferry Avenue resident who pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court to a shooting March 15 could face up to eight years in prison when sentenced Aug. 24.

Howard Welch Jr., 18, admitted to attempted first-degree assault in the shooting of Jamar Shipp, 20, in the buttocks, in a reported gang fight. Police said Welch was a member of the Eighth Street Boyz, affiliated with the Crips, and Shipp was a member of the Bloods. The fight started in a cell phone store and spilled out into an alley. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III told Welch likely faces five years of post-release supervision.

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Bail set at $50,000 in 'zip-tie' robbery

LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man implicated in a series of seven "zip-tie bandit" robberies was arraigned Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Joshua Green, 19, of Argus Street, accused of being the driver in the series of seven robberies -- one in Niagara County and six in Erie County -- pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery for his role in the a robbery in the Universal Wireless store Feb. 9 in Niagara Falls. Co-defendant Art Swain Jr., 20, of Roesch Avenue, has yet to be arraigned.

Bail was set at $50,000 for Green.

But Green and Swain have been arraigned in Erie County, where they face several charges each in the six robberies of jewelry and convenience stores and restaurants. Bail in Erie County was set at $500,000 each.

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Loss placed at $4,149 in Fourth St. break-in

NIAGARA FALLS -- A resident of the 500 block of Fourth Street told police Tuesday morning that he discovered his air-conditioner on the floor in his apartment, his window open, and cash and jewelry gone from drawers in his bedroom.

Also missing, police said, were a 54-inch television, 32-inch television, $1,000 in cash and $1,000 worth of jewelry, a game system and six games, and a laptop.

The loss was estimated at $4,149.

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Body of man recovered after fall into gorge

A 21-year-old Niagara Falls, Ont., man fell to his death in the Niagara Gorge early Tuesday morning, police said.

Police were called to River Road, near Otter Street, at about 12:20 a.m. Members of the Parks Police High Angle River Team and the Niagara Falls Fire Department rappeled into the gorge and found the man's body after a brief search.

The man, whose name has not been released, was with several friends at the time he fell, Niagara Regional Police said. Foul play is not suspected.

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Four Erie County teens charged in ATV thefts

WHEATFIELD -- Four Erie County teenagers were charged with the theft of five all-terrain vehicles and a dirt bike from sheds and garages early Tuesday.

The teens, including one juvenile, were charged with four counts of third-degree burglary, various counts of grand larceny and petit larceny. Niagara County sheriff's deputies said a resident of the 6900 block of Deborah Lane reported her garage had been broken into at 3 a.m. and an ATV stolen. Deputies said they spotted three males pushing an ATV on Walmore Road and when they tried to stop them, they fled. A 16-year-old Amherst youth was apprehended on foot.

A search uncovered three other ATVs in the woods. Niagara County Sheriff's deputies also charged 16-year-old youth and 17-year-old boy from Buffalo and a juvenile.

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