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>Teen faces drug counts after search of his home

Lancaster police said they charged a village of Lancaster teenager with several crimes after finding cocaine during a raid on his Central Avenue residence Friday night.

Blake E. Snyder, 17, was charged in Village Court with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

Snyder, who was ordered held on $2,500 bail, faces additional charges concerning stolen property found in the apartment, said Police Capt. Tim Murphy.

The arrest followed a yearlong investigation by Detectives Donald Lynch and Leon Robak into drug sales, Murphy said.


>Seven-hour standoff ends without violence

An approximately seven-hour standoff ended peacefully early Monday morning, when the Cheektowaga Police SWAT team entered a Jeffrey Drive home where an armed man had barricaded himself inside and threatened to kill himself, police said.

Cheektowaga police said they charged Charles Roberto, 38, with reckless endangerment, after finding him in the basement at about 2:40 a.m.

Police responded to a report of a distraught man after a relative had gone to check on Roberto at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Roberto would not respond to the relative, who tried to talk with him through the door. After a shot was fired, the relative called police.

Cheektowaga police negotiators spent more than six hours speaking to Roberto, trying to get him to leave the house. He also told negotiators he would shoot anybody who came into the house, police said.


>Arraignment of Sanchez expected this afternoon

Altemio C. Sanchez was expected to be arraigned this afternoon on the first two murder indictments stemming from the crimes with which he has been charged as Western New York's alleged Bike Path Killer.

Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark said Monday that indictments in the 1990 slaying of University at Buffalo student Linda Yalem and the 1992 murder of Majane Mazur will be handed up this morning to State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. The indictments were returned last week by an Erie County grand jury.

Andrew C. LoTempio, Sanchez's lawyer, confirmed that he has been directed to appear before Burns this afternoon for the initial arraignment, which Clark said his office was trying to arrange "if we can get everyone together."

LoTempio said Sanchez, 49, of Allendale Road, Cheektowaga, denies any link to any of the bike path killings and rapes to which he has been linked by police and prosecutors, starting with a 1981 attack in Delaware Park. Based on DNA samples police said they found on glassware Sanchez was using in an Amherst restaurant Jan. 13, Sanchez was arrested and jailed without bail Jan. 15.

Sanchez has been indicted on one count of intentional second-degree murder in the death of Mazur and both felony second-degree murder and intentional second-degree murder in the Yalem slaying on the Ellicott Creek Bike Path. The felony murder count is linked to the reported rape of Yalem.


>Ex-city attorney spared jail term in DWI case

Peter Comerford, a former assistant Buffalo corporation counsel, was spared a jail term Monday but fined $935 on his second drunken-driving conviction in the past decade.

Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio placed Comerford, 49, now of Fairport, on probation for the next three years. Comerford pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge.

He was arrested on a misdemeanor driving-while-intoxicated charge on Transit Road in Clarence at about 11:45 p.m. last Jan. 27.

His other arrest came in the Buffalo area about nine years ago, according to court officials.

DiTullio granted Comerford a conditional driver's license for work and driving school.

Defense lawyer Joel L. Daniels told the judge his client is now general counsel for a Rochester-area company and has begun counseling for his drinking-and-driving problems.

The judge, noting Comerford had joined Alcoholics Anonymous and has been alcohol-free for months, granted him the conditional driver's license and told him she trusts he will continue "driving without alcohol."

Comerford responded: "Absolutely, your honor."


>Woman remains free in dog-poisoning case

Charmaine Twarozek of Heather Road, Cheektowaga, was allowed to remain free on her own recognizance Monday after pleading not guilty to an animal cruelty charge.

She had been arrested Dec. 29 after police accused her of trying to poison a neighbor's barking dog with meatballs filled with rat poison.

Cheektowaga Town Justice James Vallone issued an order of protection barring Twarozek, 55, from getting near the dog. Vallone scheduled further proceedings for March 21.

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