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Clarence man claims burglary victim 'ripped me off' in a drug deal

LOCKPORT - A Clarence man pleaded guilty Monday to burglarizing a Royalton acquaintance's home last year, while asserting in court that the victim had taken advantage of him in a drug deal.

The prosecutor disputed Dustin V. Gothard's account of the case. Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Kevin D. Canali said the victim simply returned home from a trip to find his home on Fisk Road in Royalton had been broken into. Cash and wedding gifts were stolen. Canali said the Royalton man has not been charged with any crimes.

"He ripped me off. I used to buy drugs from him," said Gothard, 28, of Main Street.

He admitted to a reduced count of attempted third-degree burglary and faces as long as four years in prison when he is sentenced by County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on July 17, the first anniversary of the burglary. Gothard agreed to pay the victim $1,470 in restitution.

 

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