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'It's all to feed his drug habit,' public defender says of serial shoplifter

A Franklinville man who was barred from all Walmarts because of a history of shoplifting was sentenced Thursday to two to four years in state prison for trying to wheel a cart full of Red Bull energy drinks out of the North Tonawanda Walmart last year.

Tracy R. Maracle, 46, had pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary for the May 12, 2016 crime. He appeared in court in a wheelchair because of a back injury.

"It is all to feed his drug habit," Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano said. "He's doing life on the installment plan."

Maracle has a 64-page criminal record, mostly small larcenies, Catalano said.

"I really don't think prison is the answer," Maracle told Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. "I wasn't out there doing armed robberies or hurting elderly people."

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