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Buffalo man accused of gang ties as he is sentenced on drug felony

LOCKPORT – Michael C. Ashley was recommended for probation on a drug felony Friday even though a probation officer’s presentencing report said he was a member of a Buffalo street gang and a former co-leader of a Niagara Falls gang.

Ashley, 24, of Norfolk Avenue, Buffalo, was sentenced to five years’ probation and 200 hours of community service by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon on his admission to attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He had 0.88 of an ounce of hydrocodone and acetaminophen in his pocket when police raided a house on Pierce Avenue in the Falls on April 9, 2014. Seven people were arrested, although charges were eventually dropped against all but two, Ashley and Antonio S. Green, 23, of Birch Place, Buffalo.

The report to Sheldon said Ashley and his brother formerly headed the Eighth Street Boys in Niagara Falls, but it recommended probation, as did the District Attorney’s Office. Sheldon accepted the recommendation but ruled that wearing any gang colors or insignia would be a violation. Ashley risks 18 months in prison if he violates probation.