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Hartland man imprisoned for crashing SUV stolen from Florida

Carl J. Rivers of Hartland was sentenced to state prison Thursday for crashing a 2003 Toyota Highlander that he allegedly stole in 2016 from a used-car dealer in Pasco County, Fla.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon ordered Rivers, 49, into the state's secure drug treatment facility, unless a Florida warrant charging him with auto theft interferes with that plan. Otherwise, Rivers is to serve 18 months to three years behind bars.

Rivers pleaded guilty in August to fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. The SUV crashed Aug. 26, 2016, near Quaker and Carroll roads in Hartland during a chase by sheriff's deputies. Assistant District Attorney Joel M. Grundy said Rivers allegedly took off with the vehicle during a test drive in Florida five days earlier.

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