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Allegany man admits role in meth-making operation

Joshua R. Safford, a key suspect who was arrested last March in a raid on a Village of Allegany methamphetamine lab, pleaded guilty Monday before Cattaraugus County Judge Ronald D. Ploetz in Little Valley.

Safford, 32, of Allegany, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine to satisfy his indictment linked to the late-night raid on the meth lab at a South Seventh Street home by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force last March 21.

With criminal cases still pending against others seized in the raid, Safford admitted working with others to use the precursor products to unlawfully manufacture meth for street sales. He faces sentencing Jan. 6. Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman said the raid last March capped a two-month investigation into meth manufacturing and sale in the Allegany area and led to the seizure of all the material in what she described as an active meth lab.

Among other cases on Monday:

• Steven M. Licata, 54, of West Seneca, was fined $1,000 and placed on probation for five years on his June 24 guilty plea to a felony charge of attempting to evade or defeat the state cigarette tax linked to his arrest in the Town of Carrollton on June 2, 2012. Pettit Rieman said Licata was arrested while transporting 30,000 or more untaxed cigarettes. She said he was driving without a license and initially gave police a false name.

• Daniel S. Baldwin, 44, of the Town of Freedom, was ordered to serve a 90-day term at the Cattaraugus County Jail on his April 29 guilty plea to unlawfully growing marijuana in the Town of Freedom in March 2012.

• Robert S. Daniels, 33, of Olean, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and then probation for three years, fined $1,000 and had his license revoked for his misdemeanor driving while intoxicated conviction for a City of Olean arrest on April 24, 2010.

• James M. Gayton, 21, of Olean, already in custody, was ordered to serve up to 90 days in the Cattaraugus County Jail and then be on probation for three years on his conviction for criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree for an incident in the City of Olean on July 26, 2012.

• Nicholas S. Cossairt, 25, of Olean, currently jailed, was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to make $1,586.87 in restitution on his conviction on attempted burglary and petit larceny charges for incidents in the City of Olean last Dec. 16 and last Dec. 22.

• Brandi L. Green, 25, of Jamestown, jailed since her arrest early this year, was sentenced to time served and placed on probation for five years on her grand larceny plea for stealing a handgun in a Town of South Valley store last Oct. 8.

• James M. McDonald, 46, of Bolivar, was fined $1,000, his licensed was revoked and he was placed on probation for five years on his felony driving while intoxicated conviction for an arrest in the Town of Carrollton last Nov. 28. The district attorney said McDonald had a blood alcohol reading that day of 0.21 percent, well above the state’s legal limit of 0.08.

• David G. Milks, 39, of Salamanca, was placed on probation for five years and his driver’s license was revoked for one year on his conviction for driving while intoxicated in the City of Salamanca May 20, 2011.

• Loelle John, 17, of Irving, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted grand larceny in the third degree for attempting to steal over $3,000 during an incident in the Town of Coldspring this past June 13. No sentencing date was announced for her.