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Ontario woman admits smuggling marijuana

An Ontario woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling marijuana into the United States. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary C. Baumgarten said Karlene Powless, 28, drove a Dodge pickup truck to the Peace Bridge in late 2004, where Customs and Border Protection officers found 30 bags of marijuana in the spare tire.

Baumgarten said a further investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed Powless had imported marijuana into the U.S. 15 times before her arrest. The delay in her plea was due the extradition process.


Man admits drug charge, gets treatment program

LOCKPORT -- A Rochester man who was arrested in a Lockport drug raid Nov. 21 pleaded guilty and was placed in a program of court-supervised drug treatment this week by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

Mitchell J. Sims III, 19, pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree possession of a controlled substance. He handed another person about a quarter-ounce of crack cocaine when police arrived, Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh said. Sims forfeited $800 police seized from him.

Sims, who admitted "smoking weed" the day before his court appearance, must avoid drugs while in the two-year judicial diversion program. If he washes out, he faces up to nine years in prison, but his charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor if Sims successfully completes the program.


Suspect in knife attack pleads to reduced charge

LOCKPORT -- A Town of Tonawanda man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court in connection with a Feb. 18 stabbing in Niagara Falls.

Josh P. Czamara, 20, of Westchester Boulevard, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault. He was scheduled for sentencing July 3 by Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, who could send him to prison for as long as four years. Czamara, who was living in the Falls at the time, pulled a knife on another man during a fight at a party on 85th Street. Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said the 18-year-old victim was stabbed in "the right liver-lung-chest area."

A friend told police the stabbing victim, who had a one-inch wound, tried to drive away after the assault, but crashed his car into a pole.


Man accused of attacking mother, brother, woman

An East Utica Street man was charged with multiple counts of assault after he allegedly beat up his mother, broke his brother's left hand and hit a pregnant family friend on the back with an aluminum bat during a domestic dispute early Tuesday.

Kashan R. Dunston, 18, also was charged by Officers Marcus Fears and James Whitaker with child endangerment for administering the assaults in front of his 4-year-old sister, Buffalo police said.

Dunston began arguing with his mother in their home in the 600 block of East Utica just after midnight Tuesday and started repeatedly punching her, according to a police report. When his brother and the pregnant female family friend ran to the aid of the mother, Dunston allegedly turned on them with a baseball bat. He also is accused of breaking a front door window in the house, police said. He faces three counts of assault, as well as harassment, criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child.


Holland woman faces drug, weapon, escape counts

A Holland woman was charged on drug, weapon and other counts for allegedly trying to escape after police were called to a domestic dispute in a Main Street apartment earlier this week.

Lisa M. Pasco, 27, of Lewis Road, was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after Buffalo Police Officers Brian Britzzalaro and Robert Elott reported finding a switchblade knife in her right back pocket in the 600 block of Main just after midnight Monday.

Pasco also was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. Police said they found crack cocaine and a glass crack pipe in a bathroom wastebasket and found Pasco with two small bags of pot.

She also was charged with obstruction of governmental administration and third-degree escape. She is accused of running out of the apartment after she was placed in custody, only to be caught in the back lot of the building by Britzzalaro.


SUV driver faces DWI in tractor-trailer collision

The driver of a sport utility vehicle that collided with a tractor-trailer at Stony Road and Genesee Street in Lancaster early this week faces a felony drunken driving charge, Lancaster police said Wednesday.

Joshua Gilley, 29, of Lancaster, was ejected from his vehicle when he allegedly failed to stop at the intersection about 10 p.m. Sunday. He was drunk, police said, and because of prior convictions was charged with felony driving while intoxicated.

Gilley's SUV struck a tractor-trailer being driven on Genesee by a 63-year-old Delavan man. Both vehicles left the intersection and ended up in a nearby woods. Police said Gilley was treated at Erie County Medical Center and released. The truck driver was unhurt.