• Published

A retired Buffalo police officer will spend 10 months confined to his home as punishment for his mail fraud conviction.

Johnnie Fritz, of Buffalo, was sentenced Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, who cited Fritz’s numerous medical problems in sparing him time in prison.

Defense attorney James P. Harrington said his client knew what he was doing was wrong, but often acted out of a desire to help others.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr. countered by calling Fritz a “dirty cop" who helped a co-conspirator submit a false stolen-car claim to the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in 2009. He said Fritz, who retired in 2011, also submitted documentation related to two other false insurance claims.

Fritz’s sentence is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

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