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Falls man pleads guilty in crack cocaine case

LOCKPORT -- Samuel C. Haynes Jr., 30, of Haeberle Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty to a drug felony Monday in Niagara County Court.

Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas scheduled sentencing Sept. 6 for Haynes, who admitted to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance: more than 1.5 ounces of crack cocaine police found Aug. 2 when they raided his former home on 22nd Street in the Falls.

Haynes, who faces as long as 5 1/2 years in state prison, also had to forfeit $1,717 police found on him at the time of the arrest.


16th Street man denies charges in drug, gun case

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man, one of three indicted on drug and gun charges stemming from a Dec. 3 traffic stop, pleaded not guilty Monday in Niagara County Court.

DeMario D. Crittenden, 32, of 16th Street, is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, which Assistant District Attorney David A. Hoffman said was crack cocaine.

Police stopped the car at 22nd Street and Willow Avenue and said they found crack and a .38-caliber handgun.

Indicted on the same charges but not yet arraigned are Thomas J. Pryor Jr., 19, of Ontario Avenue, and Levester J. Rose, 34, of Dudley Avenue. Rose, the alleged driver of the car, also is charged with speeding, running a stop sign, and aggravated unlicensed operation.


Drive-by shooting leaves man with bullet in boot

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Weston Avenue man avoided injury when a bullet entered his boot and missed his foot in a drive-by shooting at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The 68-year-old man told city police he was having a cookout with friends and seated in a chair in the 1800 block of Weston Avenue, facing 18th Street. He said he heard three pops and then felt a tug on his boot, then realized a bullet went into his boot.

The man said he looked through his fence and saw the intended target, a man in his early 20s or late teens, fall to the ground, then get up, grab his cellphone and run off when a car sped off. The car was described as a late model, silver four-door sedan.


Woman, 18, pleads guilty in fatal golf cart crash

BATAVIA -- An 18-year-old woman is expected to be sentenced to prison after taking responsibility for the death of a friend in a golf cart crash last year.

Cortney Greene, of Byron, pleaded guilty in Genesee County Court to criminally negligent homicide and driving with her ability impaired by alcohol and drugs.

Greene was charged after the Nov. 26 crash that killed Zachary Rusin of Holley.

Authorities said Greene was driving the cart on a rural road in Byron, 25 miles southwest of Rochester, when it was hit by another vehicle. She and Rusin were thrown from the cart.


Judge promises probation in domestic violence case

LOCKPORT -- A North Tonawanda man pleaded guilty to two felonies in a domestic violence case Monday, but was promised a probation sentence by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, who will make it official Sept. 17.

Aaron C. Swierszcz, 38, of Miller Street, admitted to attempted second-degree assault and first-degree criminal contempt of court.

He was charged with roughing up a woman four times between July 7 and Dec. 27, choking her on the last occasion, while violating an order of protection she had obtained against him.


Main Street man accused of making threat with sword

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Niagara Falls man was charged with threatening a man with a Samurai sword following an argument at 8:15 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of Chilton Avenue.

Nathaniel E. Jefferson, 33, of Main Street, was charged with second-degree menacing and giving police a false identity, according to a police report.

A 17-year-old said that he, his brother and a group of friends were threatened at Main Street and Ashland Avenue by two men. They said one pulled out what appeared to be pellet gun, then went inside and got the sword and began walking toward them in a threatening manner. The two brothers told their parents, who contacted police.

Police were able to locate the suspect, who denied having a weapon and invited officers into his apartment, where the sword was found on a living room couch.


Brooklyn Ecstasy dealer gets 6 years in prison

A Brooklyn man convicted of possessing and selling Ecstasy was sentenced to six years in prison Monday by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten said Charles A. Mensah, 31, was part of a group that imported Ecstasy pills from Canada and distributed them in Western New York, New York City and Chicago.