Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Courts

April 21, 2011

Court actions published April 21, 2011

Guilty plea for drug dealer

A Lockport man pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to selling heroin to an undercover Lockport police informant last summer.

Joseph A. Tagg, 22, 6584 Dysinger Road, Apt. 7, was charged with two counts each of third-degree sale and possession of a controlled substance.

He pleaded guilty to a single count of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, and could face jail time and up to one-year probation.

Tagg is scheduled for sentencing June 22.

Plea offered to sex offender

A registered sex offended, and former Hess Road, Appleton, man accused of violating probation for not reporting his address to probation, has until April 27 to accept a plea offer made by prosecution Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello offered Kenneth Scott, 51, 2770 Main St., Apt. 6, a chance to plea in exchange for taking state prison time off his conviction.

Deputy Joseph W. Flagler took the stand in a hearing Wednesday afternoon and said he was notified by the sex offender probation office that Scott had a different address listed on the sex offender registration than where he lived.

Scott reportedly admitted to the violation to Flagler during a conversation last summer, but pleaded not guilty to the violation.

Scott told his attorney in court Wednesday that he needs a week to discuss the current plea with his family.

He is due back in court Wednesday.

Judge allow adjournment in DV case

A Niagara County Court judge allowed a three-week adjournment in a sentencing against a Lockport man convicted of domestic violence charges, so he could have a mental health evaluation.

Jeremy J. Branch, 24, who has addresses listed at 102 Grand St., and Gabriel Drive, pleaded guilty in February to first-degree criminal contempt.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre said Branch committed three violations of the court order at separate times and admitted to calling the victim last November despite being issued a restraining order.

He was previously charged with aggravated harassment and first-degree criminal contempt after violating a court order when he choked and threatened to shoot his girlfriend on Valentines day last year, according to Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies.

In previous court appearances, Branch said he has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since he was a kid.

But Branch’s criminal history doesn’t begin there. He was charged with disorderly conduct charged on 2008. According to Lockport police, Branch was intoxicated and using obscene language at a Grand Street home. He was warned to stop but continued, according to the report.

A year later he was nabbed on a fourth-degree criminal mischief charge after patrol reportedly found Branch throwing stones at vehicles in the parking lot of a Davison Road restaurant. Damage estimated was valued at $250.

And in August, Branch was accused of impersonating a Buffalo Police officer, after attempting to repossess a Jeep, and was charged with criminal impersonation, stalking and harassment.

According to Buffalo police reports, Branch dressed up as a Buffalo police officer and tried to force the victim into surrendering her vehicle.

He reportedly grabbed the victim, threatened her, then chased her when she refused to comply with his requests.

Branch is due back in Niagara County court 9 a.m. May 11.

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