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Walmart thief goes to state prison after failing in drug treatment

LOCKPORT – A frequent shoplifter who was assigned to a court-supervised drug treatment program was sentenced Tuesday to 2½ to five years in state prison in the wake of his dismissal from the program last month.

Charles E. Myers, 40, of Pierce Avenue, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty two years ago to third-degree burglary, a felony imposed because he stole goods from the North Tonawanda Walmart after having been banned from the store because of previous shoplifting incidents. Myers was arrested at that store three times in 2014.

In January 2015, Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III admitted him to the judicial diversion program, which could have earned Myers a misdemeanor plea with a nonjail sentence.

“There were times when his addiction overcame his willingness to comply with the mandates of that program,” Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict said. “Ultimately, his demons came back to haunt him.”