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>Receiving child porn leads to 6-year term

U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny has sentenced a citizen of Taiwan who admitted receiving child pornography while living in Lockport to six years in federal prison.

Ming-Shiun Wu, 32, who was arrested last March during a federal sting operation, is expected to be deported after his prison term. In a plea agreement, he admitted to possessing more than 300 child pornography images on videotapes and on his laptop computer.

Wu, who was sentenced Monday, admitted that he used a public computer in the Lockport Library to download child pornography images, which he then put on a disc and took to his home, Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Gioia said. He admitted purchasing child porn videotapes, which were sent to him by federal agents working in a sting operation.

Federal public defender Timothy W. Hoover said the six-year sentence points out inequities in how the state and federal courts handle such matters. He also noted that federal penalties for child porn crimes have been greatly increased over the past two years.

"He's only been accused of possessing images," Hoover said of Wu. "A person who doesn't molest or harm kids should not receive more prison time than a rapist or molester."

Wu was working as a handyman in Lockport when the crimes took place, his attorney said. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI investigated the case.


>Assistant DA resigns following DWI arrest

District Attorney Frank J. Clark on Monday accepted the resignation of a prosecutor following his arrest on a charge of driving while intoxicated Saturday.

Timothy P. Bridge, 35, of Kenmore, a veteran felony trial assistant, was arrested by Town of Tonawanda police early Saturday on driving while intoxicated and vehicular and traffic charges. Details of the arrest were unavailable.

He was released on his own recognizance. His arraignment in Tonawanda Town Court is pending.

"I spoke to him, and he offered his resignation, and I accepted it," Clark said. Bridge, who has been an assistant district attorney since March 1999, could not be reached to comment.


>Elmwood bank robbed for third time this year

Two masked men -- each armed with a gun -- robbed the First Niagara Bank on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo on Monday, police reported. This is the third robbery at the bank this year, reports show.

Northwest District police said the men, wearing ski masks, entered the bank at 2159 Elmwood, between Hertel and Hinman avenues, at about 11:30 a.m.

The robbers were given an unknown amount of cash in a plastic shopping bag and ran out of the bank. The bag contained a dye pack, which later exploded.

Police said the robbers drove away in a black four-door car, which ended up crashing into a building at Blum Avenue and Grove Street.

Witnesses reported that the robbers then ran to a second getaway vehicle -- a white four-door car -- in the 1000 block of Kenmore Avenue and escaped.

Officers recovered several items at the crime scenes -- including a fake handgun, a skull cap and a bandanna. Police also discovered that the black car had been stolen from a West Seneca woman.

Detectives were called to the scene, and Kenmore police were notified. The bank also was robbed Jan. 10 and Jan. 25.

The robbers in the latest hold-up were wearing ski masks, black hooded shirts and blue jeans. No further description was released.


>Wife steps up efforts at solving slaying

BATAVIA -- The wife of an Oakfield man shot to death three months ago outside his home has stepped up her efforts to find the killer.

Lisa Fickel taped an interview in her home Sunday for the syndicated program "Geraldo at Large."

The widow of William M. Fickel, 46, also is using a full-sized billboard on Route 63 that says, "Do you know who shot my husband?"

It gives the Genesee County Sheriff's Department phone number and mentions a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the capture and conviction of the killer. The billboard also features a photo of her husband and his dog, Bo.

A second billboard is planned for Route 5 in Pembroke. Both were donated by Lamar Advertising of Buffalo.

Chief Deputy Jerome E. Brewster is in charge of the case, which has baffled police since the Nov. 10 incident. Fickel, an installer for a cable-TV company, was shot twice outside his home after assuming that the driver of a truck that pulled over was interested in a van for sale. Authorities distributed photos of the kind of truck suspected, but no leads have turned up.

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