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POLICE & COURTS

Autopsy done on body found in vacant house

An autopsy was conducted Thursday on a man believed to be in his early 50s, whose body was found a day earlier in a vacant East Lovejoy Street house that was about to be demolished.

The results were inconclusive. The Erie County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday the cause of death will need to await test results that are expected in the next few weeks.

Homicide detectives were called to the house, in the 1100 block of East Lovejoy, at about 9 a.m. Wednesday after a demolition crew discovered the body. Investigators are trying to determine if the man, who remained unidentified late Thursday, was a murder victim or a panhandler who died of natural or other causes.

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Thief hits EPIC Center, steals money, cellphones

Lancaster police are looking for a man who stole money and cellphones from lockers at the EPIC Center, a privately owned sports facility on Wehrle Drive.

Detective Keith S. Kerl, who is leading the investigation, said the thief struck twice during the last 10 days at the sports complex, which includes space for soccer, lacrosse and go-carts.

The thief was described as a white man in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing more than 220 pounds, with a stocky build and possibly shaved blond hair. He may be driving a black Dodge Charger, Kerl said.

Anyone with information is asked to called Kerl at the Lancaster Detective Bureau at 683-3120, Ext 10.

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Buffalo man is accused of child porn possession

A federal grand jury in Buffalo has returned a two-count indictment charging city man with possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Thursday.

A search warrant executed March 9 at the Buffalo home of Kevin Baron, 42, led to seizure of two DVDs, which contained thousands of images and videos of child pornography, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango. At least three of the images are known to have been produced outside of New York State, Mango said.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. The indictment is the culmination of an investigation by the FBI Buffalo Cyber Crimes Task Force, with help from the Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.

The charges against Baron carry a penalty upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

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Man pleads guilty in computer sales fraud

A former technology manager pleaded guilty this week to fraud and tax evasion charges as part of a scheme to cheat his former employer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross said Bernard Lane, 50, of Fort Wayne, Ind., authorized the purchase of 51 laptops by his employer, Williams Advanced Materials.

Ross said Lane then sold the laptops to another individual for about $175,000 and failed to report the money as income.

The plea was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.

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Man accused of choking ex-girlfriend, hitting child

A Buffalo man is accused of beating and choking a former girlfriend and striking an 11-year-old girl during a dispute in a Wohlers Avenue apartment Wednesday morning, Buffalo police reported.

Michael O. Okolo III, 31, was charged by Officers Michelle A. Palamara and Aaron M. Borczynski with third-degree assault. Okolo is accused of punching both victims in the face and kicking and choking a former girlfriend during a confrontation in an apartment in the second block of Wohlers about 8:20 a.m.

He also was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.

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Holland woman faces drug, weapon, escape counts

A Holland woman was charged on drug, weapon and other counts for allegedly trying to escape after Buffalo police were called to a domestic dispute in a Main Street apartment earlier this week.

Lisa M. Pasco, 27, of Lewis Road, was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after Buffalo Police Officers Brian Britzzalaro and Robert Elott reported finding a switchblade knife in her right back pocket in the 600 block of Main just after midnight Monday.

Pasco also was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Police said they found crack cocaine and a glass crack pipe in a bathroom wastebasket and found Pasco with two small bags of pot.

She also was charged with obstruction of governmental administration and third-degree escape. She is accused of running out of the apartment after she was placed in custody, only to be caught in the back lot of the building by Britzzalaro.