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Lockport drug defendant cuts jail risk from 24 years to 90 days

LOCKPORT – A Lockport man, who was scheduled Monday for a Niagara County Court trial on four drug felonies, which could have landed him in prison for as long as 24 years, took a plea offer that reduced his maximum sentence to 90 days.

“We went from the second-highest crime to the lowest crime,” defense attorney Robert Ross Fogg said after Steven T. Brown headed into Lockport City Court and pleaded guilty to attempted seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. City Judge William J. Watson scheduled sentencing for July 25.

Brown, 42, of South Street, was charged with selling cocaine to a police informant at a Lockport laundromat Aug. 19 and 27. However, according to Fogg, the District Attorney’s Office backed down from the felony charges because the informant, a person with a lengthy criminal record, was the only witness – no police officer saw the alleged transactions. Also, when the informant tried to help police by making a recorded phone call to the person he thought was Brown, a different person answered the phone, Fogg said.

“They’re not too sure beyond a reasonable doubt that it was really him,” Fogg said. “My client was in possession of cocaine, but it wasn’t him at that location making that sale.”