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Buffalo man pleads guilty in Fashion Outlets drug case

LOCKPORT – A Buffalo man who faces federal prison time on cocaine possession charges pleaded guilty to a similar charge Tuesday in exchange for the promise of a concurrent sentence.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said he will sentence Morrell T. Buster June 24, two days after he is to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Buster, 43, of Elmer Street, admitted Tuesday that he had 3.92 grams of crack cocaine with him when he was caught shoplifting a pair of sunglasses in the Fashion Outlets mall in the Town of Niagara Jan. 17, 2014. He pleaded guilty to attempted fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, which carries a maximum of four years in prison.

But Buster and defense attorney Carl Dobozin said Buster faces a federal sentencing range of 51 to 63 months for his March 9 guilty plea to distributing cocaine between June 2013 and February 2014. Buster served 3 1/2 years on a previous cocaine trafficking conviction in federal court in 2003.