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Raid targets nine stores in sale of 'knock-off' goods

Nine Buffalo stores that sell sneakers, sports apparel and boots were raided by federal agents Wednesday in connection with an investigation into illegal sales of "knock-off merchandise."

The raids were conducted by agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement section of the Homeland Security Department. No arrests were made, but the investigation is ongoing, law enforcement officials said.

Authorities said an investigation was begun after recent complaints that some Buffalo stores have been selling illegal copies of merchandise made by Nike, Timberland and other companies.

Merchandise and business records were seized from the stores, police said. The names and locations of the stores were not made public.


Victim of drive-by shooting suffers face, back wounds

A Buffalo man was shot in the face and back early today at Grant Street and West Delavan Avenue during a drive-by shooting, police said.

Tyrone Stanley, age unknown, of West Delavan, was being treated in the emergency room at Erie County Medical Center. His condition is unknown, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Northwest District police said that just after 1 a.m., a blue vehicle pulled up to Stanley and someone inside fired several shots from a shotgun.

Police said they later recovered a blue 1995 Chevrolet Lumina, which may have been used in the shooting. No arrests have been made.


Collision with tractor-trailer critically injures SUV driver

A 46-year-old Buffalo man remained in critical condition today, after his sport utility vehicle collided head-on with a tractor-trailer on Walden Avenue late Wednesday morning, Depew police said.

Raymond Carter was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Cheektowaga, then transferred to Erie County Medical Center, where he's being treated in the Trauma ICU Unit. The accident occurred shortly before noon Wednesday on Walden just east of Dick Road.

"We know that Carter's SUV veered into the oncoming lanes, and the tractor-trailer really had no place to go," Depew police Capt. Mark Mediak said. "We're trying to figure out why this occurred."

The truck driver, Jeffrey Benson, 49, of Boston, was taken to Mercy Hospital with injuries that police described as not life-threatening.

Depew fire officials and the state Department of Environmental Conservation cleaned up about 70 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled from a ruptured gas tank.


Theft of personal watercraft leads to four-year term

William B. Alexander, a Howard Street man described by the state's highest court as a "veteran offender," was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for grand larceny.

State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia imposed the maximum sentence on Alexander, who was convicted Oct. 21 of the theft nearly two years ago of two personal watercraft owned by a Depew woman.

The judge noted that Alexander, 41, jailed here for 14 months since being extradited from Palm Beach, Fla., has a history of more than 50 arrests.

Prosecutors said the watercraft, valued at $14,000, and their trailer were stolen from the parking lot at a Depew apartment complex at about 11:30 p.m. June 24, 2004.


Discovery of drugs leads to arrest at school

A locker search Wednesday of Pfc. William J. Grabiarz School 79 on Lawn Avenue yielded marijuana and six grams of cocaine, Buffalo police said. A boy was arrested.

Police were called to the school at about 2 p.m., after the drugs were found in the coat pocket of the boy by the principal, police said. Further information was unavailable.


Armed would-be robber flees pizzeria empty-handed

A man armed with a taser-type weapon attempted to rob Mineo's Pizzeria on Hertel Avenue om Wednesday night, police said.

Northwest District police said the man entered the store at 1900 Hertel at about 10 p.m. and pointed a taser at a female worker. The robber demanded that she place money in a plastic bag and threw the bag at her.

He then activated the taser, causing blue sparks to emit from the weapon, and ran out the door empty-handed, possibly fleeing through Shoshone Park.

The robber was described as white, 17 to 19 years old, about 150 pounds, 5-foot-7, with brown eyes, wearing a black bandanna covering his face, black jacket, jeans and black work gloves.


Hit-run crash closes inbound Kensington

Part of the inbound Kensington Expressway west of the Scajaquada Expressway split was closed to traffic just before 11 p.m. Wednesday after a hit-and-run crash involving two vehicles, Buffalo police said.

Northeast District Lt. Randall Ammerman said the driver of the van, whose identity was not released, suffered minor injuries. Rural/Metro Medical Services paramedics transported him to the hospital.

Authorities said a car rear-ended the van, causing the van to overturn. The car then sped away, police said.

Ammerman said the car was found about a half mile away on the Kensington Expressway, but attempts by officers to locate the car's registered owner were unsuccessful. No arrest has been made.

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