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Father of 5 pleads guilty to cocaine felony

LOCKPORT – William P. Matthews, a married father of five children, all of them under age nine, pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to possession of 0.19 ounces of cocaine on Nov. 1, 2012.

Matthews, 39, of Whitney Avenue, was admitted to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment by County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas after his guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Matthews risks a four-year prison sentence if he fails in drug treatment; if he succeeds, he will receive a three-year probation term.

State court screeners rejected Matthews for the diversion program, but Farkas overruled them. In a prior court appearance, Matthews said he smoked marijuana daily for 15 years.