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Judge gives repeat felon second chance at drug treatment

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man who fell off the wagon and went on a crack-fueled crime spree last fall was sent to the state prison system’s secure drug treatment facility for the second time Friday.

Ahmed H. McCray, 36, of Niagara Avenue, stole more than $1,000 worth of underwear in three thefts from the Family Dollar store on Main Street in the Falls between Oct. 6 and 13, and also stole some cash from the office of the Wilson Farms store on Main Street Oct. 7. In all, McCray, who pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny and third-degree burglary, was suspected of eight crimes in September and October 2012.

Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano said McCray had been in the state treatment facility before and actually stayed off drugs for nine or 10 months.

“I think society would be served by having you clean and sober,” Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said. “I don’t know, Mr. McCray. I hope I haven’t made a mistake.”

McCray will serve 2½ to five years in a regular cell if he fails in treatment.