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POLICE & COURTS

>Delaware Avenue bank robbed by lone gunman

An Evans National Bank branch was robbed by a lone bandit Friday afternoon, Buffalo police reported.

Bank officials said a man entered the bank at 2670 Delaware Ave. and pulled out a gun, demanding money from two tellers about 3 p.m. He fled with an undisclosed sum of money west on Hinman Avenue, police said.

Police are searching for an early 1990s gold Nissan Maxima that may have been involved in the robbery.

The robber was described as having a thick lower lip, wearing a black bulky jacket with black jeans, a white shirt and a black cap, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northwest District detectives at 851-4413.

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>Man sentenced to jail for role in abduction

LOCKPORT -- A Rochester man, one of four people who took part in the armed abduction of a Lockport man from his home June 2, was sentenced Friday to a year in Niagara County Jail.

Michael Burrows, 20, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree burglary before County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza, as did the other defendants: Dominique Hall, 20, Mickel Leonard II, 21, and Deion Wood, 24, all of Rochester.

Leonard and Wood were sent to prison for four years, while Hall drew six months in jail and five years' probation.

They kidnapped Victor Johnson, 39, from his Caledonia Street home at gunpoint. Police believed it was a dispute over proceeds from a forgery ring.

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>Man who robbed same clerk twice gets prison term

Christopher Salonis blamed his crack cocaine habit for his crime career as a judge Friday sentenced him to five years in prison for two knifepoint robberies of the same clerk at a Lancaster convenience store last summer.

Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio imposed the prison term on Salonis, 30, of Depew on his pretrial guilty plea to felony robbery charges for the incidents at the Unimart store at Walden and Central avenues last Aug. 13 and Aug. 16.

Prosecutor John G. Schoemick credited Lancaster police for quick work in nabbing Salonis moments after the clerk jumped over the counter and fled the store for help about 3:30 a.m. Aug. 16. Schoemick said Salonis, who served a brief prison term in Pennsylvania for a burglary almost a decade ago, was captured after a foot chase down Walden.

The $275 Salonis stole during the Aug. 13 robbery was never recovered, and in the second incident he fled the store empty-handed just after the clerk escaped, the prosecutor said. The ski mask he used was recovered near the store and police had DNA evidence linking it to Salonis, Schoemick said.

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>Bridge crash injures 3; driver faces DWI charge

A two-car collision on the North Grand Island Bridge Friday sent three people, including an infant, to the hospital and tied up traffic for several miles on I-190 southbound.

State Police charged Paul C. Woyksnar, 48, of Carter Drive, Grand Island, with driving while intoxicated and following too closely, after his van hit the rear of a sedan at 3 p.m. in the driving lane on the bridge.

Miranda Schultz, 19, of Cheektowaga and her passengers, Natasha E. Najor, 20, and London Burton, 7 months, were treated for minor pain and injuries at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. Woyksnar was not injured.

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>Plea deal eyed for Iranian who claimed to be terrorist

Lawyers are negotiating a possible plea bargain in the case of a man who says he was lying when he told federal agents he was a terrorist who took part in the assassination of a high-ranking government official in Iran.

Abbas Gandomani, 42, an Iranian citizen, appeared briefly in Buffalo Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott. His attorney and a federal prosecutor told Scott they are discussing a potential plea deal.

Gandomani has been held in a federal jail in Batavia since his Oct. 11 arrest in a Niagara Falls motel. Agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force of Western New York were sent to the motel to investigate a report that an Iranian who entered the United States illegally was hiding there.

Agents said Gandomani told them four times that he was a former member of an Iranian terrorist group and that he had driven a getaway motorcycle after the assassination of a high-ranking official of Iran. He later retracted the statements. His family contends that he was making up stories in an effort to get asylum in the United States.

A polygraph test showed that Gandomani was lying about being a terrorist, said his federal public defender, Kimberly Schechter.

On Friday, Scott directed Schechter and federal terrorism prosecutor William J. Hochul Jr. to report to him on Feb. 10 about the progress of plea deal discussions.

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>String of thefts targets unlocked cars, pickups

LOCKPORT -- A string of 15 larcenies, including the theft of a pickup truck, were reported in the Reger Drive, Corwin Road and Old Beattie Road area of the town Thursday.

Owners of cars and pickup trucks left unlocked overnight in driveways reported wallets, cash, credit cards, CDs and a CD player and a cell phone stolen.

A 1998 pickup truck, valued at $9,000, was stolen from a driveway on Reger Drive. The owner said he left the keys on the floor in the unlocked truck.

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