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POLICE & COURTS

Arrest made after car drags woman who exited

A Buffalo man was charged this week with driving into a woman who got out of his car during an argument and dragging her a short distance through a field at Genesee and Kehr streets, Buffalo police said Thursday.

Jordon J. Tucker, 22, was taken into custody Wednesday during questioning at Police Headquarters and charged with second-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an injury-causing accident.

Officers Mark Goodspeed and Dennis Gilbert, after a motor vehicle records check, also charged Tucker with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle because his driver's license was suspended twice in January in a Niagara Falls motor vehicle case, according to a police report.

The woman hurt in the incident at 4:35 a.m. Saturday was treated in Erie County Medical Center for back and leg injuries, Buffalo police said.

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Man gets prison in theft and blast wrecking house

LOCKPORT -- Eric S. Waterstram, a Niagara Falls man who confessed to stealing copper pipes carrying natural gas from the basement of a home on Military Road in the Town of Niagara last summer, was sentenced Thursday in Niagara County Court to 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison, to be served concurrently with an 8-year term for burglary.

The buildup of gas from the stolen pipes triggered an explosion the next day that obliterated the house and knocked a nearby business off its foundation. Waterstram was sentenced by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas.

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Buffalo man charged in rape of woman

A Buffalo man was charged with raping a woman in a Walden Avenue flat about midnight Wednesday.

Hymen Brown, 35, of Walden Avenue, was arrested by Buffalo Police Detectives Natalie Perez and Natasha Tibbs and Officer Keith Fitzner when questioned at Police Headquarters later Wednesday morning. He was charged with third-degree rape.

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Woman, 57, pleads guilty in money laundering case

A Buffalo woman pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Pauline Manuel, 57, faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when she is sentenced Sept. 28 by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Manuel shipped a package containing nearly $110,000 from Buffalo to Houston at the request and direction of her son, David Manuel, and others, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati said.

David Manuel pleaded guilty June 1 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. He admitted to conspiring with others to purchase up to 20 kilograms of cocaine at a time in Houston for transport and resale in Buffalo, Moscati said.

Pauline Manuel was arrested along with 19 others for their involvement in the cocaine distribution network. She is the 17th defendant to be convicted.

The FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigated.

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Arrest man in assault and theft of $1,075

A Delaware Avenue man was charged with second-degree robbery for allegedly accosting a man in the 500 block of Tonawanda Street late Tuesday, punching him in the face and stealing $1,075 from the man's pocket.

Jeffrey A. Kiblin, 40, was arrested by Buffalo Police Lt. David Piech and Officer Sara Keaton on Calumet Place shortly after the 11:53 p.m. incident in a Tonawanda Street home, according to a police report.

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Fatal seven-story fall still being investigated

BATAVIA -- The death of William Hastings, who fell seven stories Tuesday out of an apparently open window at the 400 Towers, an East Main Street apartment building, remains under investigation by city police.

Police stressed Thursday that nothing criminal seems linked to the death of the 52-year-old man. Witnesses questioned about the 3 p.m. incident heard no sounds of distress coming from inside the apartment from which Hastings fell, police said.

Surveillance cameras indicated Hastings was alone in the apartment at the time of the incident, prompting police to describe the fall as either an accident or a suicide. Hastings' body was sent to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

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Failure to clean up debris gets man 7 months in jail

LOCKPORT -- The owner of the former Peters Dry Cleaning shop at 316 Willow St. was sentenced Thursday in Lockport City Court to seven months in the Niagara County Jail after he was found guilty of a housing code violation for failing to clean up the remnants from a collapse of the building last December.

The owner, Patrick McFall, told the court he could not afford the cleanup cost. He said drilling at the site by a company working for the state Department of Environmental Conservation may have caused the walls to buckle in the 30-by-40-foot cement block room that collapsed Dec. 15.