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Pendleton scammer may get break in DWI cases

LOCKPORT – Joseph D. Ehrenreich, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to stealing more than $131,000 from 29 victims in a cruise sale scam, racked up his fourth driving while intoxicated conviction Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said he intends to place Ehrenreich on interim probation when he returns to court Nov. 7, before deciding whether to imprison him for the new felony DWI case and another on which Ehrenreich’s latest arrest created a probation violation.

Ehrenreich risks up to 11 years in prison, as Murphy declined to commit to a prosecution recommendation to limit sentencing on the DWI cases to a total of four years.

Ehrenreich, 45, of Oakwood Drive, Pendleton, admitted Tuesday that he was drunk when Niagara County deputies pulled him over in a stolen car at 2:55 a.m. July 31 on South Transit Road in the Town of Lockport. He was on probation for a 2012 Erie County felony DWI conviction at the time. His previous DWIs were in 2004 and 2006.

Ehrenreich, who said in court Tuesday that he is taking medication for bipolar disorder, was sentenced to a year in jail in the travel scam case, in which he paid full restitution.