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Tuscarora man denies pot, weapons charges

LOCKPORT – A Tuscarora Indian Reservation resident who has been to state prison twice before pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court to a new indictment charging him with illegal possession of marijuana and firearms.

Joshua J. Rickard, 31, of Upper Mountain Road, was ordered held by County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III in lieu of $10,000 bail after his arraignment on charges of second-degree criminal possession of marijuana and three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh said Rickard’s home was raided by police Nov. 20. They allegedly found 18 ounces of pot, two rifles and a shotgun. Rickard, because of his previous felony convictions, is not allowed to have firearms.

Rickard went to prison in 1999 and served two years for burglary and escape. His arrest followed an eight-day manhunt on the reservation in July 1998 after he got away from two sheriff’s investigators. He served another five years after being convicted in 2003 of burglary and possession of stolen property.