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POLICE & COURTS

Police investigate fire at new subdivision

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A suspicious fire Thursday in a home under construction in a new Niagara Falls subdivision is under investigation by Niagara Regional Police.

The fire broke out at about 5 a.m. on Hendershot Boulevard, which is part of a new subdivision in the area of Lundy's Lane and Garner Road, police said.

The house was fully engulfed in flames when police arrived. Firefighters got the blaze under control quickly, but the building was listed as a total loss.

Anyone with information was urged to contact police at (905) 688-4111.

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Sex offender accused of scam, not registering

DUNKIRK -- A Level 3 sex offender from Dunkirk was arrested again Thursday, this time for a direct-mail business scam, Dunkirk police said.

Richard P. Conti, 62, of Washington Avenue, was charged Thursday with criminal impersonation. Conti is accused of mailing financial solicitation letters to residents, requesting that they invest money in a business in an attempt to obtain funds.

The business listed in the letters was "RIGIV Enterprises on behalf of Aldrich Dairy," according to police, who also asked anyone who may have received the letter or been victimized to contact their detective bureau at 363-0313.

Meanwhile, authorities also charged Conti Thursday with felony failure to register as a sex offender.

Dunkirk police, the FBI and Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office participated in the joint investigation leading to Conti's arrest.

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Pair of shootings probed on Genesee

Buffalo police are investigating two shootings that occurred on Genesee Street Thursday, seven hours apart.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Wilbert Jones Jr., no age or address listed, was shot in the arm while leaving a store at Genesee and Eller Avenue, police said. Police said Jones was not seriously injured.

About 9:30 p.m., another man was shot in the arm at Genesee and Herman streets. The victim, whose name was not immediately available, was taken to Erie County Medical Center. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

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Man linked to sale of untaxed cigarettes

A Shirley Avenue man peddling untaxed cigarettes on an inbound Metro Rail train near Lafayette Square was arrested Tuesday, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police said.

Gregory Saxon, 56, had 21 packs of untaxed cigarettes and nearly $400 in cash, according to Officer Casey Coggins who apprehended Saxon. Police said that at about 11:30 a.m. they saw Saxon making transactions on the train and Saxon did not have a peddler's permit.

He was charged with attempting to evade the state tobacco tax and possessing untaxed or unlawfully stamped cigarettes, as well as violating a city ordinance for soliciting.

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