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POLICE & COURTS

Man admits trespassing and gets 15 days in jail

ARKWRIGHT -- A Fredonia man who ignored a property owner's demands to stop trespassing was arrested Tuesday and sentenced to 15 days in Chautauqua County Jail after he pleaded guilty to trespass charges in Arkwright Town Court, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies report.

Deputies said they found Ronald C. Falco, 53, of Route 20, on the property on Route 83 when they responded to a call from the property owner at about 5:30 p.m.

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Two women charged in bid to smuggle pot into prisons

Two women, one from Buffalo and the other from Perry, have been arrested after being accused of trying to smuggle marijuana into two prisons in Wyoming County while visiting inmates last week, state police reported this week.

Both women were charged with promoting prison contraband in the two incidents that occurred March 15 at Attica and Wyoming correctional facilities.

State police also charged Anternic A. Fulgham, 29, of Buffalo, with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, because she had two children with her under age 10 during the visit to Attica Correctional Facility, authorities said.

In the other incident, at Wyoming Correctional Facility, Ruthann A. Kelsey, 31, of Perry, also was charged with attempted criminal sale of marijuana.

The state Department of Corrections Inspector General's Office assisted state police with both arrests.

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2nd suspect pleads guilty in credit card fraud case

LOCKPORT -- The second defendant in a credit card fraud case that victimized a Lewiston woman pleaded guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled sentencing June 1 for Leonard James, 19, of Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls. James admitted to fourth-degree grand larceny and agreed to pay $6,450, a half-share of the restitution due the victim. Sperrazza promised to impose a sentence of no more than a year in County Jail.

It was the same plea arrangement entered March 11 by Dora T. Chatmon, 24, of South Avenue, Niagara Falls.

She and James used two stolen credit cards to ring up nearly $13,000 in purchases between Sept. 20 and Oct. 12. Chatmon was working as a home health care aide in the victim's home.

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Mandatory prison sentence ends burglar's probation

LOCKPORT -- Jeffrey T. Wittcop, of Lockport, had been placed on probation for a June 12 Wilson burglary, but upon further review, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza said Wednesday that Wittcop must go to state prison.

In January, when she originally sentenced Wittcop, 28, of Lockwood Drive, Sperrazza wasn't aware that he was a second-time felon, which made a prison term mandatory.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said Wittcop was convicted of attempted second-degree rape in 2002, but there was an oversight and he never was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Sperrazza resentenced Wittcop to 1 1/2 to three years in prison but recommended him for boot camp-style "shock incarceration." That would make him eligible for parole in six months, but defense attorney Scott R. Stopa said he doubted Wittcop would be accepted into the program because he is a sex offender. Sperrazza declared Wittcop a Level 2 offender Wednesday.

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Tavern owner admits failing to file income tax returns

A Buffalo tavern owner and chiropractor has pleaded guilty to charges of failure to file personal income tax returns and grand larceny for failure to hand over sales taxes, state officials said Wednesday.

Anthony Amabile, 52, of Elma, is scheduled to be sentenced June 21 and faces up to a year in jail and fines of more than $120,000, according to state Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox.

Amabile, owner of Mr. A's Village Corner Pub on the 800 block of Elk Street, was one of 14 individuals charged throughout the state in "Operation AccountAbility," an enforcement sweep targeting people who failed to file personal income tax returns over multiple years, Mattox said.

For a period from 2009 to 1999, Amabile did not file sales tax returns in the amount of $62,000. Mattox credited Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III for his assistance in the prosecution.

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Judge reluctantly gives drug suspect probation

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza said she had her doubts about Buffalo drug dealer Eric J. Cobb being able to comply with the rules of probation, but she decided Wednesday to give him three months to prove himself.

Cobb, 22, of Lemon Street, had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling cocaine March 30 in the Town of Lockport. Defense attorney E. Earl Key urged Sperrazza to let Cobb try to make good on probation pending a final sentencing decision.

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