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Judge calls Falls teen 'a thug,' sends him to prison for 7 years

A Niagara Falls teenager whose criminal resume already includes a shooting, a burglary and an armed robbery was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday.

"You're a thug," State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. told Deandre M. Agee, 17, of Ninth Street.

The sentence was the maximum Kloch agreed to when Agee pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, attempted third-degree burglary and attempted tampering with physical evidence.

Kloch quoted a Niagara Falls police officer who called Agee "definitely an up-and-comer in crime in the City of Niagara Falls."

"I do regret the things I did," Agee told Kloch. "To be completely honest, no matter how much time you give me, when I get out, I'm going to succeed as a person."

"He doesn't want to be involved in gangs. He doesn't want to be involved in crime anymore," Assistant Public Defender Michele G. Bergevin said.

On Oct. 8, Agee fired a blast from a sawed-off shotgun during a home invasion on 19th Street. A teenage boy was struck in the abdomen, right hand and right leg by birdshot. On Nov. 29, Agee broke into his mother's home.

On Dec. 12, Agee ditched a handgun that had been used in an armed robbery the night before, although he denied involvement in the robbery itself.

But Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said Agee admitted to a knifepoint robbery at a Niagara Falls store in September, although that charge and a Dec. 28 criminal mischief arrest were dropped as part of the plea bargain.

In another case, Kloch sentenced John W. Rossman to 1 1/2 to three years in prison for pawning a stolen diamond engagement ring in Niagara Falls on April 1, 2010.

Rossman, 34, of 10th Street, Niagara Falls, denied stealing the ring himself, saying he bought it from someone else. Kloch didn't believe him.

Kloch ordered a civil judgment of restitution of $15,082 to the ring owner and $2,767 to his insurance company.