Tonawanda News

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March 18, 2010

Facebook Fugitive gets maximum sentence

LOCKPORT — Christopher K. Crego, the Facebook fugitive, was sentenced Wednesday to one year and 15 days in Niagara County Jail on assault and driving while intoxicated charges.

“I was movin’ on with my life ... I want to get this over as soon as possible,” Crego said to Lockport City Judge William Watson.

His attorney, Tim Haseley, said he was not surprised at the sentence.

“That’s exactly what I expected,” Haseley said as he chuckled.

Haseley said Crego, 39, spent six weeks in Niagara County Jail before fleeing to Indiana and an additional few weeks after he was caught in Vigo County, Ind.

Crego, formerly of 4617 Sunset Drive, was sentenced to one year for the assault charge and 15 days for DWI.

Crego was brought back to Lockport by Officer Mike Wasik and Det. Lt. John Yotter earlier this month after he fled to rural Terre Haute, Ind., last October, prior to his assault sentencing.

Crego was convicted on an assault charge from Nov. 22, 2008, when he punched another man with a closed fist and then hit the victim with a beer bottle outside a West Avenue bar, sending the man to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport.

“He caused serious physical injury to the man,” said Lockport Police Capt. Richard Podgers, chief of detectives. “The damage to the victim was so bad, it resulted in surgery.”

Crego was additionally charged Aug. 8 with possession of marijuana and DWI.

U.S. Marshals captured Crego in February when Lockport Police found his whereabouts on his Facebook and MySpace pages. He was sent to Vigo County Jail in Indiana, but was released a week later after posting a $25,000 bail bond.

Upon his arrival in Lockport, earlier this month, Crego was remanded to the county jail in lieu of more than $1 million bail.

Podgers said he hopes social network sites will help more often in catching suspects, but added that he has always used the Internet for help.

“From craigslist to eBay to Facebook, we use every available means to solve our cases,” Podgers said.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled 9 a.m. April 14 for the bail-jumping charge Crego also faces.

Watson said he would have had sentencing Wednesday for the charge, but Crego’s lawyer needed more time to evaluate the claims.

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