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Man avoids prison after claiming he found 19 pounds of pot

A Royalton man who said he found 19 pounds of marijuana while walking in a field behind his house avoided a prison sentence Tuesday, even though State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. didn't believe his story.

Kloch fined John P. Hicks Jr. $1,000 and placed him on probation for five years for felony pot possession, "despite the fact that you planned to go into business as a drug dealer and won't admit it in front of me."

Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh said Hicks, 55, of Peet Street, was arrested after police executing a search warrant Oct. 25, 2016, followed a path through his backyard and found three large totes filled with pot.

Hicks said it was "stupid" to keep the pot he said he found.

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