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South Buffalo man admits to Wheatfield store burglary

LOCKPORT – A South Buffalo man who is already in state prison for a streak of convenience store burglaries in Erie County “slipped over the border and did one in Niagara County,” Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said as she accepted his guilty plea Wednesday.

James M. Trala, 27, of Mackinaw Street, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary in exchange for Farkas’ promise that the sentence she will impose April 9 will run simultaneously with the term he is already serving.

He and Phillip S. Muzzy Jr. 30, also of Mackinaw Street, were indicted in connection with an April 23 break-in at a Citgo station at River and Williams roads in Wheatfield.

Trala went to prison for two to four years in January after pleading guilty in Erie County to third-degree burglary, attempted third-degree burglary fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and felony driving while intoxicated. He is awaiting admission to the state’s boot camp-style “shock incarceration” program.