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POLICE & COURTS

Failure to register as sex offender charged

LITTLE VALLEY -- A Hinsdale man has been charged by a Cattaraugus County grand jury with failure to register with the state as a sex offender.

In a report Thursday, Walter C. Randall, 33, of Sherlock Hollow Road, was charged with failing to register as sex offender, to verify his address and have his photo taken Jan. 14 in the Town of Hinsdale.

In another indictment, John A. Hollowell, 32, of Cuba, was indicted on charges of driving while intoxicated, driving without a license and related charges Dec. 19 in the City of Olean.

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Second suspect charged in drug deal-slaying

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A second suspect in the 2008 slaying of Pierre Repper of Quebec was apprehended Thursday by Niagara Regional Police.

Shawn Monger, 24, of Welland, was charged with second-degree murder and is scheduled to appear in a St. Catharines courtroom today. Monger's arrest follows the Tuesday apprehension of Sebastien Hebert, 35, of Chateauguay, Quebec, who also is charged with second-degree murder.

Repper's body was found June 5, 2008, in the forebay at the Sir Adam Beck Power Plant on the Niagara Parkway.

Authorities believe Repper traveled to the Niagara Region in April 2008 to complete a deal for a large quantity of marijuana.

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Attack on driver called domestic dispute

IRVING -- An Irving man was charged with harassment and criminal contempt after he attacked the driver of a car in motion at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in the Town of Hanover, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said.

Jerry R. Miller, 63, of Willow Drive, is accused of slapping, punching and pulling the hair of the driver, a Jamestown resident, while traveling on Routes 5 and 20. Deputies said the attack was triggered by a domestic dispute.

The victim has an order of protection against Miller, deputies added.

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Pot-growing setup tied to Fort Erie man

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- A Fort Erie man faces criminal charges after Niagara Regional Police responded to a 911 call for a person in need of help Wednesday and uncovered a marijuana-growing operation on Ridge Road North, police said.

Fredrick Kommer, 53, was charged with production of a controlled substance. Kommer owns the home where about $20,000 worth of marijuana plants and growing equipment were seized, police said.

Authorities were called to the home at about 10:45 a.m. and searched the property for the person in need of assistance, which is when they found evidence of the growing operation in a barn on the property, according to reports.

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Three juveniles accused of torching ticket booth

LITTLE VALLEY -- Three juveniles were arrested Tuesday by Cattaraugus County sheriff's investigators and charged with arson for setting a ticket booth on fire at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds.

The April 30 fire was in a rear parking lot near the Pat McGee Trail.

All three were each charged with third-degree arson, third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief.

Two of the juveniles, ages 10 and 14, were issued tickets for Family Court. The other suspect, 16, was arraigned in Napoli Town Court and must return to Little Valley Town Court.

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Fatal shooting gets man 20 years in prison

Mario Vazquez was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man during a street argument last summer.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang told Vazquez, 21, of Whitney Place, he will now have "a long time to think about the consequences" of killing Henry Figueroa, of Seventh Street.

Prosecutor Thomas M. Finnerty said Vazquez repeatedly shot Figueroa on Whitney near Maryland Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. July 10 after they argued. An Erie County grand jury indicted Vazquez, jailed since last summer, for second-degree murder.

Neither Vazquez, who pleaded guilty May 4 to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter, nor defense attorney Thomas J. Eoannou spoke during Thursday's sentencing.

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Jury acquits man in attempted shooting

A Hertel Avenue man was acquitted Wednesday of charges he fired two shots at another man at Tennyson and Tacoma avenues late Jan. 22.

Shareef Abdullah, 30, was found not guilty of a single count of first-degree attempted assault. He had been accused of firing a gun at at Hassan "Avalanche" Bland, an Internet chat room acquaintance. The jury verdict came after about three hours of deliberations following a three-day trial before Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico.

Bland, 34, of Tennyson, had testified it was Abdullah who fired at him twice. But Abdullah's attorney, Paul S. Piotrowski, pointed to Bland's criminal record as well as the lack of police follow-up in the investigation and corroborating evidence.