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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Mother's wedding ring stolen to buy cocaine

LOCKPORT -- A Genesee Street man confessed Wednesday to stealing his mother's wedding ring from her home and selling it for $50 worth of cocaine, Detective Lt. Scott Seekins said.

Troy J. Saraf, 46, was charged with second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny. Seekins said Saraf was picked up about 3 p.m. at St. John's Outreach Center on Chestnut Street and eventually admitted taking the 48-year-old, $2,500 diamond ring Dec. 18.

Saraf's mother, Maureen, also said her key ring was missing, including the keys to her workplace, the Realty USA office on South Transit Street, which was burglarized Dec. 20.

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Ruling upholds committal to mental institution

The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a judge's decision to commit an Orleans County sex offender to a state mental institution.

Michael C. Motzer, 28, formerly of Lyndonville, was committed in July 2009 by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. After a hearing, Kloch ruled that Motzer had violated the terms of his parole by attending an April 2009 free food giveaway in a poor neighborhood of Niagara Falls. Children were present at the gathering.

Motzer had admitted having a mental abnormality that makes him liable to commit more sex crimes. In March 2009, Kloch had placed him on a strict parole regimen. One of its rules was staying away from children.

Motzer had left prison in January 2009 after serving five years for raping a woman in Orleans County twice in September 2002.

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Not guilty plea entered in drug sale to informant

LOCKPORT -- A Lockport woman pleaded not guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to an indictment accusing her of selling the painkiller oxycodone to a police informant.

Saundra H. Rafferty, 39, of Evans Street, is charged with two counts each of third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance.

The drug deals allegedly occurred Sept. 8 and 20 in the City of Lockport.

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Gambian man is detained following border arrest

A Gambian man wanted on charges of credit card fraud was arrested Thursday at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.

Ebrima Sumareh, 26, was detained while being returned to the United States by Canadian authorities who barred him from entering their country earlier in the day. He told Customs and Border Patrol officials that he was a U.S. citizen, born and raised in the Bronx, and presented a passport to prove his claim.

A check of his fingerprints revealed his true identity. Additional record checks revealed that Sumareh had an active federal arrest warrant issued by the U.S. Secret Service on Dec. 14 charging him with the illegal use of a credit card.

Sumareh eventually told officials he stole the passport from his cousin and was aware of his active warrant of arrest. He further stated that he had recently escaped from a halfway house in Ohio, where he was being held pending federal prosecution.

He was arrested and charged with false claim to citizenship, fraud and false statements. He is being detained in the Niagara County Jail.

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Two facing charges in violent store holdup

Buffalo police arrested two West Side men on felony charges after a violent holdup Wednesday night at a small store on West Ferry Street.

Police allege that the suspects beat up two people inside the Island Mini Mart, 232 W. Ferry, about 7:30 p.m. and that one of the men tried to use a claw hammer to strike an officer who arrived at the crime scene. That officer fired a shot in defense, but no one was injured, police said.

Charged with first-degree robbery were Tyrone Bradley Jr., 23, and Armando Torres, 25, both of Massachusetts Avenue.

An additional charge of attempted assault on a police officer was filed against Torres, who unsuccessfully tried to use the hammer to clobber a police officer in the head, police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said.

A small amount of cash was stolen in the robbery, and two people were injured inside the store, but police said they had no information today about the extent of the injuries. Nor did police release any more details about the arrest, which took place later Wednesday night on the West Side.

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Two shot in drive-by identified by authorities

The two victims of a Wednesday drive-by shooting on Bailey Avenue were identified today as Reginald James, 19, and Jemelle Moody, 18, both of Buffalo.

Police said the two were shot on Bailey near Stockbridge Avenue about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

James is in fair condition in Erie County Medical Center while Moody was released after treatment there, police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said today.

Police ask that anyone with information about the shooting call the city police confidential tip line at 847-2255.

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