BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —
A Newfane man could be looking at a maximum of 5-1/2 years in state prison, after admitting to running a meth lab in Wrights Corners.
On Monday in Niagara County Court, Sean A. Smith, 39, presently residing at 13 William St., Lockport, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C nonviolent drug felony.
In addition to jail time, Smith faces a maximum of two years of post-release supervision. The plea deal calls for Smith to waive his right to appeal and forfeit the $4,000 cash that was found at the lab in Wrights Corners.
Smith's attorney, Rodney Giove, said Smith had considered being screened for the court's judicial drug diversion program. However, Smith is disabled and program rules would have disallowed his use of some medications.
"He is on medication that would cause difficulty to participate in the program," Giove told County Judge Matthew J. Murphy. "He thought it'd be wiser to go through with the plea."
On Jan. 11, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office said, Smith and James O. White, 21, of Olcott, were found manufacturing methamphetamine in a house at 6437 Hope Lane, just north of Wrights Corners.
The Niagara County Drug Task Force found about 5-ounces of methamphetamine oil in a plastic bag, according to Assistant District Attorney Peter Wydysh.
In June, White pleaded not guilty to four counts of fifth-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and third-degree unlawful possession of methamphetamine.
Smith will be sentenced Nov. 12 and is free on bail.
In another case before Murphy, Frederick W. Lewis, 20, of North Avenue, Niagara Falls, admitted to violating interim probation.
In court on Monday, Lewis admitted failing to report to the probation office and failing to provide proof of employment. Lewis will be sentenced Oct. 7. He faces a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in state prison and one year of post-release supervision.
Lewis was serving six months of interim probation while Murphy considered his sentence on a drug-related conviction. Lewis had pleaded guilty to fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance for selling crack in Lockport on Aug. 31, Sept. 1 and Sept. 7, 2010.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.