Niagara Gazette

Courts

December 16, 2013

Nurse pleads guilty in relation to drug case

Niagara Gazette — A Lockport woman pleaded guilty last week to a charge stemming from a major drug bust in 2010.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced last week that Janelle Hawkins, 36, a registered nurse, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to misprision of felony. The charge means Hawkins admitted to concealing another’s felony from law enforcement officers.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten said from July 2009 through Aug. 17, 2010, Hawkins knew that her boyfriend, Eric Williams, was using the residence she owned at 118 Chestnut St. to engage in drug trafficking activities. 

After conducting an extensive criminal investigation, including obtaining a wiretap for Williams’ cellular telephone, members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a federal search warrant at Hawkins’ residence on Aug. 17, 2010.

Agents seized drug paraphernalia and $8,614.00 in cash. They also seized more than a half kilogram of cocaine after apprehending Williams in a downstairs bathroom at Hawkins’ residence as he was flushing cocaine down a toilet.

Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to five years in prison. Hawkins is one of 23 defendants convicted as a result of this drug investigation.

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