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Niagara Falls drug dealer given a chance to avoid more prison time

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man, who just completed a year behind bars for violating probation on a federal cocaine dealing conviction, was given a chance Tuesday to avoid more prison time.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon placed Andy Martinez, 36, of Pierce Avenue, on interim probation for six months. Martinez had pleaded guilty last August to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for dealing crack cocaine in the Falls Nov. 6 and 27, 2013.

That arrest constituted a federal probation violation on his 2008 federal drug conviction. Sheldon noted that in effect, Martinez, who was freed Feb. 5, already has served a year for the 2013 drug deals. She could send him to state prison for as long as four years, and Sheldon warned Martinez that the interim sentence is “a test to see if you can follow the rules.”

Martinez must repay the $60 a Niagara County Drug Task Force agent spent on the crack.