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Former North Tonawanda heroin addict gets a ‘shock’ from judge

LOCKPORT – A North Tonawanda man who has trouble with “authority figures,” according to his lawyer, will be given a chance to change his views in the state prison system’s boot camp-style “shock incarceration” program.

James P. Fontana, 25, of Sweeney Street, was kicked out of the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, even though, according to Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano, Fontana was able to beat his heroin addiction.

Catalano said, “His main issue was dealing with authority figures, the rigors of being told where to go, when to go.”

Murphy sentenced Fontana to shock, which normally lasts six months. If he fails in that program, he will serve 18 months in a regular cell, plus two years of post-release supervision. Fontana had pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling the painkiller oxycodone in North Tonawanda March 5 and 6, 2012.