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Lockport woman withdraws guilty plea in drug case

LOCKPORT – A Lockport woman who had accepted a plea bargain in a drug case was allowed Tuesday to withdraw that plea and go to trial June 23.

“There will now be no plea in this case,” Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas warned Dawn L. Johnson, 59, of Waterman Street.

She had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for having cocaine, Xanax and Soma in her car when police stopped it Jan. 6, 2013. But after the plea, Johnson changed attorneys, and new lawyer Anthony J. Lana will try to have the drug evidence suppressed in a May 22 hearing.

If Johnson is convicted at trial, she faces a maximum of 2 1/2 years in prison, which is a year more than she could have received under the plea deal.