Harold McNeil - The Buffalo News

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Harold McNeil

Harold McNeil has been a staff reporter for The Buffalo News since 1989. He currently covers Amherst.


Erie County

Al Dirschberger abruptly resigned Thursday as commissioner of Erie County Social Services at the request of the county executive after it was learned he was under criminal investigation for an incident that allegedly occurred in Albany earlier in December. At a news conference Thursday evening, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced that he had requested Dirs…

Cheektowaga police issued a warning about a telephone scam in which victims are being goaded to purchase prepaid gift cards to pay off bogus utility bills. Police said there have been several reported incidents in which victims have received phone calls from someone claiming to be from National Grid, who tells victims that they owe the utility $1,500. If the bill is not…

Four Erie County Probation Officers acting on a tip Wednesday, discovered a probationer in possession of large amounts of drugs and cash inside his City of Tonawanda residence. Raymond Frustino was taken into custody following the unannounced visit by the probation officers, according to the Erie County Executive's office. During a search of Frustino's residence, probat…

Volunteers from the American Red Cross opened Wednesday an evacuation center for residents affected by an electrical power failure in Kaisertown neighborhood. The center is located at Winchester Elementary School, 650 Harlem Road, according to Jay Bonafede, chief communications officer for the American Red Cross. In addition to respite from Wednesday's bone-chilling …

Local News

A Buffalo man faces numerous weapons charges after Buffalo police stopped him in his vehicle Thursday, armed with a rifle and ammunition in the 400 block of Fox Street. Marven D. Lee, 27, a previously convicted felon, is accused of waving a loaded shotgun outside a bar in the 600 block of Fox Street. Police, who were responding to a 911 call about the incident, said Lee…

A Miami, Fla., woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and now faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Yordani Ramirez Salgado, 28, who stood before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. Friday, admitted to conspiring with two others to use 129 counterfeit access devices to purchase gift cards at various Walmart stories in Erie, Niagar…

Crime

The victim in a fatal shooting Sunday on  Guilford Street shooting has been identified by Buffalo police. The deceased man is 50-year-old Craig Hadley of Buffalo, police said. The shooting occurred about 2:40 p.m. in the 200 block of Guilford.

Valu Home Centers Thursday presented the Salvation Army with a check for $50,320 as part of the store's annual holiday fundraising drive. The donation brings Valu’s 16-year fundraising total to more than $760,000, according to Doug Wasiura, vice president of marketing and development for the hardware store chain. The funds collected are intended to support the Salvat…

Two pedestrians were dead Friday following a fatal crash in the Town of Salamanca, according to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office late Friday. The incident occurred at about 5:37 p.m. at Route 353 and North State Street, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office said. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured, the Sheriff's Office said. A passenger in the vehicl…

A Niagara Falls man faces 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Antonio Carr, 24, is scheduled for sentencing on April 6 before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Carr had the weapon on July 28 when Niagara County probation officers performed a home visit at his girl…

A man from Puerto Rico who attempted to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Canada at the Peace Bridge pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Joel Torres Diaz, 30, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years behind bars. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. P…

Crime

A Chautauqua County man has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of a North Tonawanda woman while she riding a motorcycle on Route 20A in Wyoming County. The July 9 collision also left three other motorcyclists seriously injured, Chautauqua authorities said. As part of the plea, Joshua D. Huntress, 29, of Mayville, admitted that his actions caused th…

A Buffalo man convicted of having sex with a minor was sentenced Thursday to a maximum 35 years in prison, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office. In May, a jury found Robert Healy, 37, guilty of three counts of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual act and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, the District Attorney'…

A Tonawanda man has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Dakar Young, 23, faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years if he is convicted on the charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lamarque, who is handling the case, Young was arrest…

A Buffalo man was sentenced to 46 months in prison following his conviction on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of ammunition, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Buffalo Police entered the Virginia Street home of Jose Dejesus, 35, on Nov. 10, 2016, and seized from a rear bedroom 16 envelopes containing heroin, …