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Falls man booted from diversion program, faces prison

LOCKPORT – Lawrence E. Smith of Niagara Falls said Tuesday he has a five-year plan for “what I want to accomplish in my life,” but Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III may have a multiyear plan Smith will have to follow first, after Murphy ejected Smith from a court-supervised drug treatment program.

Smith, 26, of Linwood Avenue, faces as long as 12 years in state prison because of his failure in the judicial diversion program. He pleaded guilty last April to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and is to be sentenced March 24.

Smith was one of three men arrested Sept. 13, 2013, in the parking lot of the Caravan Motel on Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Falls. Smith exited a car and threw a small bag of crack cocaine under it when police pulled up. He was subsequently arrested on more drug charges in Niagara Falls and Lewiston, and the plea deal, Smith’s second drug felony conviction, wrapped up all three cases.

Smith said he stopped complying with drug court rules after Falls detectives questioned him Oct. 2 in regard to a homicide, a case in which Smith was not charged; he called it being “falsely accused.”