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Gasport man charged in Craigslist scam

LOCKPORT -- A Gasport man has been charged with third-degree grand larceny for allegedly bilking a Lockport-area woman out of $7,500 through a Craigslist scam linked to a residential loan the victim was seeking, state police reported Wednesday.

Authorities said Robert E. Mack Jr., 33, posted a Craigslist notice describing himself as a private lender.

The woman told investigators she recently gave Mack a $7,500 check that she thought was a down payment to secure a loan, only to find he kept the money as payment for his alleged efforts to find her an institution that would provide her a loan.

Mack is currently free and faces proceeding in Newfane Town Court on the felony case at 7 p.m. June 28.

State police said their investigation indicated Mack has had contact with other individuals who responded to his Craigslist advertisement. Investigators said that anyone who feels they may have been similarly victimized by Mack should call them at 434-5588.


Sexual assault suspect ordered to provide DNA

LOCKPORT -- A man accused of sexually attacking a 60-year-old woman in her Niagara Falls house Jan. 21 was ordered by Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to provide a DNA sample when he appeared in Niagara County Court on Wednesday.

Jeffrey Brantley, 46, of Walnut Avenue in the Falls, pleaded not guilty May 3 to an indictment charging him with attempted first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act and single counts of first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree burglary and petit larceny.

Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco said it was in Brantley's best interest to provide the sample to prove his innocence.

"Probable cause will be from the rape kit in January. If it is not his, then your client will be dismissed," Zucco told the court.

Zucco said previously that in the two-hour attack Jan. 21, the victim held a statue of the Virgin Mary as she tried to persuade the suspect not to attack her. The statue was broken in the struggle, Zucco said.

Brantley remains in the County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.


Plea of guilty entered in credit card fraud

A Gasport woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to knowingly using an unauthorized access device.

Ellen Flack, 34, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced Aug. 31.

From September to January, Flack conspired with three others to defraud American Express by obtaining 42 fraudulent AMEX credit cards in the names of 37 individuals who lived outside New York State, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr., who is handling the prosecution.

Flack and one or more of her associates, posing as individuals who had AMEX credit cards, fraudulently used the cards to make unauthorized ATM withdrawals at area banks and unauthorized purchases at various retail stores in the Lockport area, the prosecutor said.

Flack and her associates illegally obtained cash and merchandise totaling more than $50,000. The prosecution of Flack's associates continues. Joshua and Krista Dunkelberger pleaded guilty to a similar charge May 18 and are awaiting sentencing, Ippolito said.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.


Prison term up to 7 years ordered in burglaries

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man with a long criminal record was sentenced Wednesday in State Supreme Court to serve up seven years in prison for two unrelated burglaries.

Kevin L. Randall, 50, of Seventh Street, pleaded guilty April 4 to third-degree burglary for stealing a 42-inch television, a PlayStation and an iPod Touch from a home on Townsend Drive in Niagara Falls last July 23. He was given a sentence of 2 1/3 to seven years by Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.

He was also sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years, to be served concurrently, for violating probation on an attempted burglary. In that case, he tried to steal copper pipe from the former St. Mary's Manor nursing home in the Falls on Sept. 10, 2010.

Kloch went over a long list of offenses Randal has committed during the last four decades and his lack of compliance with probation. He denied a shock incarceration treatment sentence. "You may have thought you had a good reason, but there are no good reasons. Your record speaks for itself," Kloch said.


Guilty plea entered to probation violations

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court to violating the terms of his probation in a 2009 grand larceny and burglary conviction and now will likely spend time in prison.

Corey J. Carl, 36, of 23rd Street, admitted he violated his probation on April 9, failing to report to probation and make payments toward restitution. According to the County Probation Office, he also was found with narcotics, failed to seek mental health treatment, failed to link to a work program and failed to report to a substance abuse program.

"It looks like you violated every condition of probation," said County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas.

Carl could face 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 8.