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Dwayne Brice was supposed to manage his father-in-law's veterans benefits. Instead, he stole $38,904 in benefits and, according to prosecutors, used some of it to gamble at local casinos. Brice, 37, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty this week to theft of government money before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott S. Allen Jr. and …

Prosecutors say Robert Acker's child pornography collection included 918 videos and 34,000 images. Acker, 34, of Cheektowaga, was sentenced this week to 36 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. Acker had previously pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr. said a court-ordered search of the …

A young Buffalo man who joined in on the robbery and assault of a pizza delivery man was sentenced in Erie County Court to five years in prison. Elijah Hall, 21, previously pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping for the crime, which he committed while on probation for an earlier offense. Assistant District Attorney Alicia M. Lilley said Hall was the only person id…

The armed robbery of an Evans Bank in the Town of Tonawanda last year was no ordinary stick-up. Unlike most bank robbers, the two masked men who held up the Evans branch forced their way into the vault and made off with $80,000 in cash. Even more important, a year later, the suspects are still at large even though their lookout and getaway driver is going to prison. …

LOCKPORT – A man who assaulted and tried to rob a Channel 4 news crew in Niagara Falls, leaving the cameraman with impaired vision, accepted a plea offer Thursday in Niagara County Court. Evan Stafford, 26, of Donna Drive, Town of Niagara, admitted to attempted second-degree robbery and is scheduled for sentencing June 12. Stafford accosted WIVB-TV reporter Nick …

An Amherst woman and a Depew man face drug charges after they were arrested Wednesday night in Cheektowaga, police said. Cheektowaga police said they received an anonymous tip at about 7 p.m. about people using drugs in a car parked on Oakwood Drive. Officers found two people in the vehicle as well as a baggie of crack cocaine on the vehicle's floor, police said. The…

Two drug overdose deaths in two months in the City of Tonawanda and an additional seven calls to administer the antidote Narcan have caused concern for city officials. Police Chief William L. Strassburg said opioids are “a growing problem” in the city as heroin, laced with dangerous fentanyl derivatives, compounds the problem of prescription painkiller abuse. On…

A woman from Niagara County was killed in an apparent murder-suicide in California on Tuesday night. Whitney J. Washuta, 25, was shot by her ex-boyfriend while walking her dog near her home in West Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles Times and CBS Los Angeles. Washuta, who previously lived in Youngstown, was a 2009 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School. She was…

BATAVIA – A Batavia man was arrested for drunken driving Wednesday by State Police following a traffic stop on West Main Street in the Town of Batavia. Daniel Difrancesco, 35, was stopped for having a broken taillight, police said. He was charged with felony driving while intoxicated and arraigned in Town of Batavia Court.  

A Brampton, Ont., man linked to a conspiracy to smuggle more than $120 million worth of cocaine from the U.S. into Canada faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Harinder Dhaliwal, 47, of Brampton, Ont., pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to export 5 kilograms or more of cocaine into Canada from the U.S. Dhaliwal faces a minimum of 10 years in pri…

Buffalo police have made an arrest in connection with a fatal stabbing on April 12. A Buffalo Police spokesman confirmed the arrest of Hillard Smith, 46, about 1 a.m. Monday in Niagara Falls. Smith is accused of stabbing Justin Johnson, 42, about 10:30 p.m. April 12 at 518 N. Division St. Police said Johnson died of his injuries Monday, the same day Smith was arrest…

Buffalo police have arrested a 16-year-old in connection with the Oct. 13 shooting death of Burgard High School student Kristian Piazza. Lawren Goins, who was arrested Wednesday, has been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, a police spokesman said. Piazza, who also was 16, and Terrell Lockett, 16, were walking near Leroy Avenue and …

Two members of a West Side Buffalo street gang were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms following their convictions on distributing heroin. Raul Ramirez Vargas, 43, of Buffalo, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a kilogram or more of heroin, was sentenced to 130 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Sk…

A Cheektowaga man who identified himself to police as a state corrections officer was arrested Wednesday after he was accused of supplying illegal narcotics to a neighbor who overdosed and had to be revived by police. Cheektowaga police said the 24-year-old who overdosed survived and was taken to Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Police said they received a request for …