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POLICE & COURTS

>Phony payroll checks bring plea of guilty

A Buffalo man who used a home computer to produce fake payroll checks from a local business pleaded guilty to felony charges in federal court Thursday.

Jeffrey Watkins, 45, of Olympic Avenue, pleaded guilty to possessing and passing a counterfeit security. He admitted producing eight fake payroll checks worth a total of about $3,000, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala said.

Watkins was already on supervised release after serving prison time for a bank larceny conviction when U.S. Secret Service agents learned of the phony payroll checks scam, authorities said. Several of the checks were cashed at local bank branches.

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>Teen robbed by group with gun near Elmwood

A Grant Street boy who will turn 17 on Saturday was robbed at gunpoint and his bicycle and groceries were stolen Thursday near Amherst Street and Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo police reported.

The victim told police he was approached by a half-dozen other males. One of them, about 17 years old, pulled out a handgun.

The group fled east on Amherst toward Elmwood, police said.

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>Buffalo man sentenced in burglary, car theft

LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man who stole a car in Amherst and drove to Newfane, where he committed several crimes, was sentenced Thursday to two to four years in prison by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Brian D. Klos, 39, of Hoyer Place had pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. The incidents occurred Dec. 6, 2005, when Klos drove the stolen car from the University at Buffalo North Campus to a doctor's office on Wheeler Road in Newfane, from which he stole $40.

Prosecutors said Klos then headed for Newfane Inter-Community Memorial Hospital, where a worker caught him rummaging through an employee's bag in an office. He was chased through the hospital and tackled by about six employees, and when Klos hit the floor, the stolen car's keys fell out of his pocket.

In another sentencing Thursday, Charles R. Thompson, 59, of D Street, Niagara Falls, drew three years probation from Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. for a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. Thompson was pulled over Jan. 9 in Niagara Falls.

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>Robber, then 2 others accost man at station

A Cheektowaga man rebuffed a would-be robber at a Bailey Avenue gas station at about 11 p.m. Wednesday before two others joined in the robbery, Buffalo police reported.

The victim told police he was at a Noco station at 155 Bailey, where he was approached from behind by a man with a rock who threatened to throw it at him and demanded his wallet. The victim began to fight with the robber before two other men joined in the fray, both of whom had weapons, police said.

One man ran at the victim with a long fishing knife with a rusty blade, the victim told police, and the other had a stick. All three men were yelling at him, he told police.

The victim said he threw down some money, got back into his vehicle and drove away.

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>Jamestown teen charged in break-in, touching

JAMESTOWN -- A Jamestown teen Thursday was accused of breaking into a Tower Street apartment Thursday and inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl who was asleep.

Thomas Torres, 17, is charged with second-degree burglary, possession of burglar's tools and forcible touching. Jamestown police responding to the report of a burglary in progress just after 6 a.m. discovered Torres passed out in the bedroom of a basement apartment. Officers said Torres, who was highly intoxicated, used burglar's tools to break into the house.

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>East Side shooting leaves man, 19, with 2 wounds

A 19-year-old man was being treated Thursday in Erie County Medical Center for two gunshot wounds he suffered just after 3 a.m. at Gittere and Sycamore streets, Buffalo police reported.

Tyree Works, of Gittere Street, told police he was approached by two men. One pulled out a gun and fired three shots at him, Works said, striking him in the right calf and the right shoulder.

Police said the second bullet possibly traveled down to Works' lung.

His condition was not available late Thursday.

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>Guilty plea entered to child porn charges

LOCKPORT -- A Town of Niagara man pleaded guilty this week in Niagara County Court to two counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.
Joseph Ciszek, 32, of Pomeroy Avenue was scheduled for sentencing Feb. 27 by Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Ciszek downloaded child pornography depicting sadomasochistic acts by children from the Internet in April 2004, according to Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello.

She said he was charged following an FBI investigation in Internet chat rooms.

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