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LOCKPORT – Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas placed a Niagara Falls man on interim probation Thursday for throwing a stolen pistol away while running from Falls police June 16.

“Whether or not you end up in state prison after interim probation is really up to you,” Farkas told Lester D. Florence Jr., 25, of Center Avenue, who has six months to impress the judge enough to persuade her to spare him a prison term of up to seven years.

The loaded gun, reported stolen in Allegany County, was tossed aside as Florence ran from police who responded to a call about an armed man outside a bar on Highland Avenue. Florence pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.