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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Falls man gets 3 years for having gun in car

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man who pleaded guilty in a gun case was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.

Brandon T. Gutzmore, 27, of LaSalle Avenue, was sentenced by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III for attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon -- a handgun he had when his car was pulled over March 23, 2010, on Pierce Avenue in the Falls. He also was arrested Dec. 21, 2009, on a similar gun charge.

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Deliveryman offered plea in house burglaries

LOCKPORT -- Lee W. Gates, a Niagara Falls man who allegedly burgled houses while making deliveries for a Lewiston florist, has until May 12 to consider a plea offer.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said in Niagara County Court on Thursday that preliminary hearings on 15 new burglary charges have been waived in lower courts, in addition to the single Jan. 6 burglary on Creek Road in Porter for which Gates was indicted in January.

Hoffmann said Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza has committed to a prison sentence of no more than 12 years if the plea is accepted by Gates, 36, of 23rd Street.

A co-defendant in the Jan. 6 case, Irene L. McCormick, 30, of Sabre Park, Town of Niagara, pleaded guilty last week to attempted second-degree burglary and was admitted to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

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Trucker gets two years for smuggling marijuana

A trucker from Brampton, Ont., was sentenced to two years in federal prison Thursday for smuggling marijuana over the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge in November 2009.

Harjinder Dhugga, 47, was arrested after U.S. Border Patrol officers conducted a secondary check of his truck and found more than 240 pounds of marijuana hidden, Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Gillmeister said.

Agents from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement also investigated the case, which led to a felony conviction before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

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Jury convicts Newfane man of DWI; sentence pending

LITTLE VALLEY -- A Newfane man convicted of driving while intoxicated by a Cattaraugus County Court jury faces sentencing July 25.

Thomas Lodwick, 51, of West Avenue, also was found guilty of failure to keep right. He was arrested April 16, 2010, in Lyndon. The verdict was reached this week after a weeklong trial before Judge Larry M. Himelein.

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Falls man, 28, charged in drive-by shooting

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Pierce Avenue man was charged Wednesday in connection with a drive-by shooting Monday.

Dwayne W. Handley, 28, was charged with second-degree attempted assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree possession of a weapon.

A woman in the 700 block of 20th Street told police she heard shots fired at about 7:15 p.m., then discovered a picture hanging above the recliner where she was seated shattered. Police also said a second shot was fired at the house, and shell casings were found at the scene, police said.

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25 aluminum pipes stolen from trailer

NEWFANE -- Twenty-five aluminum pipes valued at $5,000 were stolen Thursday morning from a trailer in the 3600 block of Day Road.

Niagara County sheriff's deputies said the pipes -- each between 20 to 25 feet long -- were designed to be use don irrigation lines. They were stolen sometime over the past five days.

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Security guard punched by man who stole ham

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man was charged with robbery and assault Wednesday after he punched a store security guard in the face while stealing a ham from the Tops Market in the 7900 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard, police said.

Michael A. Quarcini Jr., 37, of Eighth Street, was charged with felony third-degree robbery and third-degree assault. He was stopped with the ham, valued at $72.51, beneath his hoodie.

Quarcini, authorities said, was restrained until police arrived.

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Head-on collision takes life of Batavia man, 37

BATAVIA -- For the second time in two months, a straight stretch of Route 5 west of Batavia has been the scene of a fatal head-on collision.

Genesee County sheriff's deputies are investigating the latest crash, which occurred Wednesday and took the life of Jonathan M. Colby, 37, of Batavia. A passenger, Angelo A. Merica III, 27, of Pavilion, was injured.

In February, Delores Opuku-Boateng, 19, a student at Genesee Community College, was ejected from the passenger seat and died at the scene.

In both cases, the fatalities occurred in eastbound lanes on West Main Street Road, less than two miles from each other. Both were morning rush hour head-on crashes where a vehicle swerved "for an unknown reason," the reports state.

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