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LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man who has been in prison for drug possession decided Monday to risk a 12-year sentence if he fails in the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.

Anthony Z. Ferguson, 33, of Ferry Avenue, whose jail term as a parole violator expires Thursday, pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for having cocaine with the intent to sell it April 28 in the Falls.

If he succeeds in the diversion program, his charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a probation sentence, but if Ferguson washes out of treatment, Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. could sentence him to as long as 12 years in prison.