Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

August 7, 2013

Man sentenced for growing marijuana

BY JOE OLENICK joe.olenick@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A city man was sentenced to a year in jail Tuesday for growing marijuana in his apartment. But that won’t be the end of his legal troubles, as he still faces federal charges for a burglary and fleeing the state.

William H. Chapple III, 45, 444 Pine St. was sentenced to Niagara County Jail by County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III at a hearing Tuesday. Chapple had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Attorney Ryan P. Hanna told Murphy that Chapple was a financial analyst with a family until he suffered seven herniated discs in a car crash and became addicted to painkillers. 

“That led to a narcotic addiction,” Hanna said. “He lost everything because of that. ... he lost his life as he knew it.”

The Niagara County Drug Task Force raided Chapple’s apartment back in May 2012, seizing 281 marijuana plants and assorted painkillers. Officers said they found a fairly sophisticated growing operation, with plants found in virtually every room of Chapple’s apartment, supported by artificial light and a hydroponics system.

Hanna said in court that Chapple was receiving treatment and had a support network available to him upon his release. Chapple himself said he wouldn’t make excuses but instead changes to his life.

“You will not see me again,” Chapple said to Murphy.

Chapple still faces federal charges in regards to a burglary and for running to Oregon. There are also charges in Lewiston and Buffalo he will answer to.

Chapple and Cody S. Broecker, 21, of Bear Ridge Road, Pendleton, have been charged with the Aug. 12 theft of large numbers of pills in a burglary at Middleport Family Health Center, 81 Telegraph Road. They allegedly stole 15,000 to 20,000 prescription drug pills.

The men were captured last November in Klamath Falls, Ore. They face maximum sentences of 20 years in prison on the charge of burglarizing a pharmacy and 20 years if convicted of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute them.

In a state Supreme Court case on Friday, Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. sentenced a three-time drunken driver to five years’ probation, four weekends in jail and fines and fees totaling over $1,500.

Jason R. Mucha, 43, of Old Beattie Road, Lockport, had pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated in the wake of a Sept. 23 incident in which police followed him home and measured his blood alcohol content in his driveway at .16 percent, twice the legal threshold for intoxication.

Mucha’s jail weekends will begin Aug. 23.