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Self-described 'hustler pleads guilty to burglary

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man who told a drug treatment screener he lives by "hustling" pleaded guilty Friday to a 2010 burglary in that city, to which he was tied by DNA evidence.

Paul J. Schubert, 21, of 70th Street, admitted to third-degree burglary and was admitted by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

Schubert's eventual sentence will include restitution of $3,987.31 to the insurance company that represented the owner of the Seneca Avenue house and garage he entered June 21, 2010. If he flunks out of drug treatment, he faces a maximum of seven years in prison.


Victim of drowning was Fredonia State graduate

DUNKIRK -- A man who drowned Thursday in Dunkirk Harbor near the Cedar Beach Lighthouse has been identified as Kofi Bagyabeng Genfi, a Dunkirk resident and recent graduate of Fredonia State College.

Genfi, 22, formerly of Brooklyn, drowned while swimming with friends, who told authorities the victim failed to surface after jumping in the water from the lighthouse platform. He was pronounced dead at Brooks Memorial Hospital after a diver from the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Underwater Rescue Team responded to the emergency at 4:30 p.m.


Store employee accused of fraudulent transactions

TOWN OF LOCKPORT -- An employee of a party supply store in the Town of Lockport has been accused of making fraudulent transactions to lower her credit-card balance, state police said.

Samantha J. Batt, 21, of Clarence Center was charged Thursday with a felony count of falsifying business records and a misdemeanor count of petit larceny.

Troopers said they were contacted by Party City on South Transit Road about employee theft. An investigation revealed that Batt had made several fraudulent returns, using her personal credit card, in an attempt to lower her credit card balance.

Batt was issued a ticket to appear July 12 in Lockport Town Court.


Guilty plea entered in Lewiston DWI case

LOCKPORT -- A Ransomville man pleaded guilty Friday to felony driving while intoxicated in Niagara County Court.

Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas set sentencing Aug. 20 for Shawn G. Reid, 38, of Ransomville Road. He was arrested Dec. 8 in Lewiston.


Judge fines Canadian $10 for Motel 6 attack on man

LOCKPORT -- A Canadian who was caught in a motel room with another man's estranged wife was granted a conditional discharge and fined $10 Tuesday for assaulting the woman's husband.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. could have imposed a maximum of a year in jail on Christopher Estabrooks, 26, of Coutice, Ont. Kloch imposed a mandatory state surcharge of $200 plus a $50 DNA sampling fee in addition to the fine.

"He's a Canadian, so [Kloch] couldn't monitor him on probation," Assistant Public Defender Ryan P. Hanna said.

Estabrooks pleaded guilty April 17 to third-degree assault, stemming from a blow to the other man's head with a pipe during a fight in a room at the Motel 6 in Niagara Falls Jan. 18.

"He told me [the woman] was going back and forth between them," Hanna said.


Tearful bank robber concedes he is 'selfish

LOCKPORT -- Sheldon W. Crogan, who robbed a Niagara Falls bank and stole copper wire from a home in that city, was sentenced to state prison Friday by State Supreme Court Judge Richard C. Kloch Sr.

Kloch gave Crogan a sentence of two to four years with a recommendation that he serve it in a prison with a mental health facility. Kloch said he was going to give Crogan the maximum of up to seven years, but changed his mind when he saw Crogan's remorse.

"The enormity of the reality is, I've become selfish," the tearful Crogan said.

He pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery for the April 10 holdup of the HSBC Bank on Main Street and to attempted third-degree burglary in the Oct. 4 theft from a 24th Street house.


Aggravated DWI charge lodged in traffic stop

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Lewiston man was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated after being stopped by city police just before midnight Wednesday in the 2900 block of Macklem Avenue.

Benjamin G. Rager, 28, of Bronson Drive, posted a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent, police said.


Falls man facing a year in jail for copper theft

LOCKPORT -- One year in Niagara County Jail was the State Supreme Court sentence Friday for a man who stole copper wire and pipes from a home on 17th Street in Niagara Falls Sept. 21. Kevin Y. Harper, 52, of Cleveland Avenue, pleaded guilty to petit larceny. He must pay $500 in restitution.