LOCKPORT – Ramone A. Westbrook of Niagara Falls decided to plead guilty to a drug felony Friday in Niagara County Court without entering court-supervised drug treatment. Defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said he thought Westbrook made the right call, but Westbrook said his wife disagreed and was no longer living with him.
Westbrook, 30, of Whitney Avenue, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was scheduled for sentencing Aug. 29 by County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas. She said she would consider sending Westbrook to the state prison system’s secure drug treatment facility, but Westbrook could end up in a regular cell for as long as four years. Prison time is mandatory for Westbrook, a repeat felon.
He was deemed eligible for the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment, but to get in, he would have had to plead guilty to a more serious charge. If he washed out of that program, he risked a prison term of up to 12 years. That was too big a gamble, he and Faso decided.
Westbrook admitted having 0.18 ounce of cocaine in the Falls on May 9, 2012.