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POLICE & COURTS

Pedestrian struck by car crossing Delaware Avenue

A Buffalo man was injured at about 9 a.m. Wednesday after he was struck by a car while crossing Delaware Avenue at Avery Avenue in North Buffalo, Buffalo police said.

Nathan Stolte, 29, was listed in serious condition in Erie County Medical Center. The driver of the car, a 68-year-old Buffalo woman, was driving north on Delaware.

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Amherst man, 25, injured in crash blamed on DWI

An Amherst man was seriously injured at about 2:35 a.m Wednesday when his car crashed into a utility pole on Youngs Road, Amherst police said.

Justin P. Kotas, 25, was listed in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center. Police have charged him driving while intoxicated.

The crash was discovered by a National Grid worker investigating reports of a blackout in the neighborhood. A utility pole fractured, with the car at the bottom of a ravine and Kotas lying by the vehicle, police said.

Accident investigators say Kotas was driving south on Youngs near Dauphin Drive when he crossed into the northbound lane, struck a guardrail, sheared off the utility pole and a small tree before ending up in the ravine.

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Missing man discovered dead in West Virginia

NEWFANE -- A missing 52-year-old Newfane man has been found dead in West Virginia, Niagara County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

James Carl Taylor was reported missing by family members Friday. His body was found near Wayne, W.Va. Police said there as no foul play.

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Attorney ordered to pay $600,000 in fraud case

A former mortgage settlement attorney has been ordered to pay $600,000 in civil penalties in a fraud case by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Robert R. Goods, no age listed, was convicted of bank fraud after using money intended to pay off mortgages for his own personal use, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Lynch.

A complaint was filed against Goods seeking civil penalties under the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act. Authorities said that because of Goods' actions, SunTrust Bank lost $521,872.

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Identity theft results in federal charges

An Orchard Park man faces federal charges of identity theft after allegedly stealing Social Security numbers to obtain property, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. reported Wednesday.

Robert Jones, 26, is accused of using the Social Security numbers not assigned to him to defraud entitles in Western New York between last February and this month, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White.

Authorities said Jones set up accounts with several utility providers using the stolen numbers and also attempted to obtain a car by using another person's name and government number as well as claiming to be part owner of a development company.

Jones could face seven years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

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Fireplace ashes caused $180,000 Grand Island fire

Improper disposal of fireplace ashes caused the fire that resulted in $180,000 damage to a Grand Island house earlier this week, a fire company official said.

Firefighters were dispatched to 1163 Sheree Drive shortly after 6 p.m. Monday, after several neighbors reported smoke and flames at the back of the house. The residence is owned by David Bennett, who wasn't home at the time, according to Ray Pauley, the Grand Island Fire Company's public information officer.

The fire originated on a back deck, Pauley said, but spread to the first floor and roof of the home.

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Le Roy man pleads guilty in distribution of meth

A Le Roy man faces up to life in prison and a $4 million fine for conspiring to possess and distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said Wednesday.

Donald G. Vanelli II, 47, obtained five to 15 kilograms of methamphetamine from drug suppliers and distributed those drugs to others in Genesee and Monroe counties from 2004 to 2010, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey.

Vanelli, who pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa, also possessed firearms, including a loaded 9 mm rifle. Authorities said that as part of his plea agreement, Vanelli will forfeit his rifle, a 9 mm magazine and 78 rounds of ammunition seized from his home in Le Roy.

Vanelli was arrested with four others in July. He is the first to be convicted.

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Mother accused of leaving three children alone in hotel

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Rochester woman is accused of leaving her three young children alone in a hotel for up to eight hours Tuesday while she gambled at Seneca Niagara Casino.

Daciann D. Brown, 26, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in City Court to three counts of child endangerment and was released on her own recognizance.

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