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No Pleas for Criminals with Handguns


01/15/2014

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces two more convictions in accordance with his no plea bargain policy in illegal handgun cases.

45 year-old Christopher Steiner of Franklinville, NY, pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Senior Erie County Court Justice Michael L. D’Amico. This is the highest charge for which Steiner could have been convicted had he gone to trial. 

On October 28, 2013, on Olean Road in the Town of Sardinia, Steiner was found to be in possession of a .22 Semi-automatic Pistol, loaded with ten rounds of ammunition, following a traffic stop for speeding by Erie County Sheriff Deputy Brad Ballantyne.  The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Alicia Lilley, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Training Bureau. 

19 year-old Robert Kowalewski, IV of Ridge Park Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY, also pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Judge D’Amico. This is the highest charge for which Kowalewski could have been convicted had he gone to trial. On November 26, 2013, on Ridge Park Avenue, in the Town of Cheektowaga, Kowalewski fired a gunshot after arguing with his mother inside their residence.  Cheektowaga Police Officers Garrett Slawatycki and David Filipski apprehended Kowalewski less than a block away and recovered a loaded .25 caliber pistol from his hoodie pocket.  A spent shell casing was also recovered in the street in front of Kowalewski’s residence. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick B. Shanahan, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trail Bureau.

Steiner faces a minimum of 3 ½ years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on February 19, 2014 by Judge D’Amico. Kowalewski also face a minimum of 3 ½ years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 31, 2014 by Judge D’Amico.