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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Canadian accused of currency smuggling

Federal agents said a random inspection led to the arrest of a Canadian citizen who allegedly tried to smuggle more than $62,000 in U.S. currency out of the United States.

Bruce Watson, 39, a resident of Mississauga, told border agents at the Peace Bridge on Monday that he had $6 in U.S. funds on him, said Kevin Corsaro, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman. Authorities said Watson told agents he was returning from a two-day shopping trip to Pennsylvania.

"He was randomly selected for secondary inspection by an outbound enforcement team," Corsaro said.

During a search of Watson's vehicle, nine bundles of U.S. currency were found hidden inside the passenger rear quarter panel. The money was wrapped in tin foil and plastic wrap. The currency totaled $62,765, Corsaro said.

Watson was arrested on federal charges of bulk currency smuggling and turned over to agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution by the U.S. attorney's office. He was described as a Canadian citizen who was born in Jamaica.

By federal law, anyone transporting currency over $10,000 in U.S. funds, or its foreign equivalent, to or from the United States at one time must file a report with U.S. Customs.

Watson pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon during a brief appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy.

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>Woman's purse stolen at Falls gas station

NIAGARA FALLS -- The purse of a 27th Street woman was stolen from her early Tuesday at a gas station in the 600 block of 19th Street.

The 37-year-old woman told police that she was returning to her car just after 5 a.m. when a man grabbed the purse and ran off. The purse, valued at at $10, contained $35 in cash, police said.

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>Invaders bind woman, steal car, various items

Three men -- each armed with a gun -- barged into a Millicent Avenue home Tuesday, tied up a woman inside with duct tape and stole her car and house keys and a car, police said.

Northeast District police said the woman was inside her home in the 100 block of Millicent when three men confronted her sometime between 4 and 4:35 a.m.

Police said the assailants stole about $700, a wallet containing identification and credit cards, a DVD player, jewelry, a 32-inch television, a cell phone and keys to the house and keys to the car. The assailants also stole a tan 1992 Buick.

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>Woman, 18, reports 3 shots fired at her

NIAGARA FALLS -- Three shots were fired at an 18-year-old woman near 10th Street and Pine Avenue early Tuesday, police said.

The woman, who escaped injury, told police she was walking on Pine at about 3 a.m. when four men in a maroon van drove up. She said a man seated behind the driver fired the shots.

The woman told police she escaped unharmed. Police said the four are believed to have been involved in a suspected gang-related shooting incident on Highland Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. Monday. No one has been arrested in either case, police said.

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