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Falls man pleads guilty to break-in at apartment

LOCKPORT -- A former Niagara Falls resident pleaded guilty Friday in State Supreme Court to third-degree burglary.

Lance D. Carter Sr., 40, now of Church Street, Lockport, admitted to entering an apartment on Niagara Street in the Falls July 15. A television set was stolen.

Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. promised Carter a prison sentence of two to four years when he returns to court Aug. 23. The legal maximum for the charge is seven years.


Burglar charts course in drug treatment program

LOCKPORT -- With a possible 15-year prison sentence hanging over his head, a burglar who pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court has plenty of motivation to stay clean in the court-supervised judicial diversion program of drug treatment.

Joseph Light, 22, of Grauer Road, Town of Niagara, admitted to second-degree burglary for entering a home on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls July 1, 2009, and stealing four guns. His mother turned two of the guns in to police, cracking what had been a cold case.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza admitted Light to the diversion program and promised him five years' probation if he succeeds. If not, the maximum sentence for the burglary count is 15 years.


Alternative sentences imposed in separate cases

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza imposed alternative sentences on two men in separate cases Thursday.

Sperrazza assigned Alan E. Sahr, 26, of Green Road, Lewiston, to the state prison system's secure drug treatment facility. Sahr had pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of stolen property after he crashed a stole car into two parked vehicles in Lewiston June 19.

David O. Allee Jr., 32, of Chestnut Drive, Lockport, was recommended for the state's boot camp-style "shock incarceration" program. He had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling crack cocaine four times last fall.

If they fail in their respective programs, Allee will serve two years in a regular prison cell, and Sahr will serve two to four years.


Bail set at $100,000 for a familiar felon

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man with 16 previous felonies on his record pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Thursday to a 37-count indictment accusing him of four burglaries and a purse-snatching.

Douglas A. Trombley Jr., 50, of Cudaback Avenue, also was charged with 14 counts each of forgery and possession of forged instruments -- stolen checks he allegedly cashed, Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Seaman said.

The house burglaries in the indictment occurred between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 on Saunders Settlement Road in Cambria; Jan. 2 on Campbell Boulevard in Pendleton; Jan. 7 on Saunders Settlement Road in Lewiston; and Jan. 8 on Cayuga Drive Extension in Wheatfield, where Trombley allegedly was driving a stolen car. The purse theft allegedly occurred Dec. 28 in Niagara Falls.

Trombley is being held as a parole violator, and Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza set $100,000 bail on the new indictment.


Depew man facing charges in fatal Feb. 24 crash

A Depew man faces charges of vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs in connection with a two-vehicle crash that took the life of his fiancee on Feb. 24, Cheektowaga police reported Friday.

Phillip Kane, 29, was arrested Thursday at his Walden Avenue home after police received laboratory tests confirming he had a number of drugs in his body, including cocaine, at the time of the Genesee Street crash near Tadio Parkway that killed his passenger, Elisa N. Mannella, 29, of Depew. Mannella was a student at Canisius College.

Police said Kane was traveling west on Genesee Street when he lost control of his Ford Crown Victoria and crossed into oncoming traffic. The car was struck by an oncoming Dodge Ram truck driven by Aleksandr Blyashuk, 29, of North Tonawanda, who was traveling eastbound.

Kane was arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court and released on $5,000 bail.


False accusations land ex-friend in hot water

An Erie County grand jury Friday indicted a Depew man for allegedly falsely accusing a former friend of identity theft and stealing $65,000 of his funds late last year.

Jason Kazukiewicz, 36, of Enez Drive, was allowed to remain free without bail after he pleaded not guilty Friday before Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico to offering a false instrument for filing, making a false written statement and falsely reporting an incident.

District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III and prosecutor Brian P. Dassero said Kazukiewicz filed a false theft complaint against the ex-friend with Depew police last October. The ex-friend was arrested and arraigned in Depew Village Court on Dec. 7, but a subsequent review of financial records determined he had been falsely accused.

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