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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Lottery, check scam draws official warning

LOCKPORT -- Niagara County sheriff's officials are warning residents about a lottery and check scam.

On Feb. 18, a Somerset resident received a check in his name for $4,998 from a company called "Fast Forward Securities Inc." A letter was also included advising the resident to deposit the check and wire the same amount to a Canadian address as a tax payment for winning a $250,000 lottery.

The resident immediately questioned the check, and notified authorities. Sheriff's officials advised anyone receiving a similar offer that it is a fraud and to contact authorities.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is," Sheriff James R. Voutour said.

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Guilty plea entered in school bomb threat

LOCKPORT -- A man admitted Thursday that he had telephoned a bomb threat Nov. 8 to an answering machine at North Tonawanda High School.

Kevin K. Walsh, 21, of Robert Drive, North Tonawanda, pleaded guilty to first-degree falsely reporting an incident. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza is to sentence him May 11. Prosecutors are recommending probation.

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Man faces drug charges after border inspection

NIAGARA FALLS -- An Etobicoke, Ont., man was arrested about 7 p.m. Friday at the Rainbow Bridge after a U.S. Customs inspector allegedly found 15 grams of ketamine, an animal tranquilizer, on him.

A plastic bag containing the drug -- also known as "Special K" and "monkey morphine," was found in the shorts of the suspect, identified as Mark Silvestrin, 41, who was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Silvestrin also had a ketamine pipe in his sock, authorities said.

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Man pleads not guilty to drug, weapon charges

NIAGARA FALLS -- A city man charged Wednesday with selling drugs out of a local motel pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony drug possession and felony possession of a loaded weapon.

Alexander D. Lee, 27, of Seventh Street, was arraigned in City Court and charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and third-degree possession of a weapon. He was released on $15,000 bail. A return court date was set for Monday.

Narcotics intelligence detectives, assisted by members of the department's emergency response team, confiscated 40 grams of crack cocaine and a loaded assault rifle when they searched Lee's Seventh Street residence just before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. The rifle was loaded with 32 rounds of ammunition, police said. Narcotics Capt. Morris Shamrock said Lee is a prior felon, so it was illegal for him to have a weapon in his possession.

Shamrock noted that in the winter, they often see drug dealers set up shop in motels while the rates are lower and to "get the police off their trail."

Lee was was charged without incident at the motel in the 6000 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard.

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Driver of ditched car charged with felony DWI

ROYALTON -- A Lockport man who drove his car into a ditch off Kinne Road early Saturday was charged with felony driving while intoxicated, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

Michael A. Zak, 48, of South Transit Road, failed several field sobriety tests after saying he swerved to avoid a deer and lost control of the car, deputies said.

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