LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty Friday to selling cocaine, but took his lawyer’s advice not to request admission to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

Attorney James J. Faso Jr. said he didn’t think James Puckett, 50, of Welch Avenue, could make it through the program, with the possible penalty of nine years in prison if he stumbled.

Puckett therefore accepted a prosecution offer to plead guilty to a lesser charge, fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, with a maximum 2½-year sentence. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas will make the call May 3.

Puckett sold cocaine March 6 in the Falls.