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POLICE & COURTS

Buffalo man, 32, indicted in pair of bank robberies

A 32-year-old Buffalo man is charged with bank robberies in Jamestown and North Carolina and is a fugitive, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.

Philip A. Purdue is accused of robbing the Jamestown Savings Bank last Nov. 5, and a bank in Kings Mountain, N.C., on Nov. 22. His indictment Friday followed an investigation by the FBI and Jamestown police.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the Buffalo FBI office at 856-7800.

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Restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

A Jamestown restaurant owner pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mortgage fraud charges on Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Steven Carlson, 52, of Jamestown, evaded the payment of his federal taxes from 2001 until 2008 by illegally putting businesses and properties in names of other people, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala said.

She added that Carlson gave false financial information -- including falsified tax returns -- to a bank in Florida to get a loan of more than $2 million, and then defaulted on the loan.

Agents from the Internal Revenue Service criminal division and the Buffalo FBI office investigated Carlson's business dealings before charging him criminally last year. Arcara scheduled sentencing for May 5.

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Lacrosse player given probation in pot deal

LOCKPORT -- A Genesee Community College lacrosse player was sentenced Friday to three years' probation for his role in a marijuana deal.

Gaehnewrawe Printup, 20, of Walmore Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, had admitted to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree marijuana possession. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza imposed sentence.

Printup was a passenger in a car that was stopped Jan. 29 by Town of Niagara police, who were tipped off to an effort to haul a supply of marijuana from Syracuse to the Tuscarora Reservation. A bag containing 11.86 pounds of marijuana was found on the back seat.

Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm didn't object to the sentence. "This may well have been a single moment in time, a bad decision that I hope he learns from," she said.

The driver, Harley Chubb, 20, of Hogansburg, admitted to second-degree marijuana possession, and passenger Regis Cook, 18, of Nedrow, pleaded guilty to third-degree possession. Both are awaiting sentencing.

Bjornholm said the three had to forfeit a total of $7,692 in cash they had on them when arrested.

Inspector hurt in fall

settles for $700,000

A construction site inspector seriously injured on a bridge reconstruction job in Depew about seven years ago has accepted a $700,000 insurance settlement, his attorney said Friday.

Paul Wzontek, 57, of the Town of Tonawanda, who had been hired by the state Department of Transportation, suffered severe lower back injuries when he fell off an unsecured 12-foot ladder on Dec. 9, 2003, while inspecting A&L work on a bridge on Broadway between Dick and Bordon roads.

Anne Beltz Rimmler said carriers for A&L Inc., a general contractor based in Belle Vernon, Pa., made the offer after two weeks of testimony during an unsafe workplace jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Walker.

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Buffalo woman charged under Leandra's Law

A Buffalo woman was charged Thursday night with felony driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law after state troopers stopped her for driving with inadequate headlights on Bailey Avenue, officials said.

The troopers who stopped Elestra Lane, 52, said she appeared to be intoxicated when they pulled her over. A test later showed her blood-alcohol level was .16 percent, twice the legal limit.

There were two children under 16 in the vehicle. In addition, troopers found cocaine in her possession.

Lane was charged with additional counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, false personation, second-degree impersonation, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana.

An adult passenger in the car, Sandra McGee, 41, was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Both women were taken to the Erie County Holding Center.

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Condition of driver in SUV crash improves

SHELBY -- A Middleport man whose sport utility vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer Wednesday morning was upgraded from critical to serious condition Friday, officials said.

Lynn Brady, 50, of Telegraph Road, was traveling east on an icy Route 31 near Hoffman Road and lost control, with his SUV sliding into the westbound lane, catching the rear tire of the truck.

The driver of the rig, Charles Ellington, 42, of Rochester, was not injured. Emergency crews worked for about 40 minutes to free Brady after the crash.

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