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Buffalo-area teens face drug charges in Ellicottville

ELLICOTTVILLE -- Five Buffalo-area teens were arrested at 3 a.m. Thursday in the Edelweiss Lodge on Jefferson Street after police found marijuana and related items in their room.

Charged with unlawful possession of marijuana are: James E. Phillips, 17, of Williamsville; and Nicholas R. Gay, 17, Anthony R. Principale, 16, William J. Fitzhenry, 17, and Domenic S. Principale, 17, all of Clarence.

Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies assisted Ellicottville Village Police in the arrests. The suspects are scheduled to return to Village Court on Jan. 18.


Christmas shooting victim is 55th homicide of 2010

The young victim of a Christmas morning shooting on Columbus Parkway died from injuries Saturday in Erie County Medical Center.

Elexe "Elees" Mercado, 17, of Buffalo was shot just after 4 a.m. last Saturday in the 800 block of Columbus Parkway, near Niagara Street and the Peace Bridge. Police said four shots were fired at Mercado, who was struck in the chest and back.

Earlier this week, Buffalo police homicide detectives arrested Michael Corchado-Jamieson, 19, of Buffalo, who was charged with attempted murder and assault -- charges that will be upgraded, authorities said.

This is the city's 55th homicide of 2010 and the first in the month of December. Last year the city recorded 60 homicides.


Welfare fraud charges lodged against 6 suspects

OLEAN -- Six people were arrested Thursday on welfare fraud charges.

The following were charged with welfare fraud, grand larceny and filing a false instrument: Brandi N. Osby, 31, of Allegany, accused of illegally receiving $24,636 in cash and food stamps; Christie L. Baker, 29, of Olean, $25,602 in cash and food stamps; Tessey S. Killian, 42, of Franklinville, $7,292 in food stamps; Mark F. Ciancio, 55, of Olean, $1,174 in cash assistance; Daniel L. Whiting, 35, of Yorkshire, $336 in food stamps; and Angela T. Brown, 31, of Olean, $1,113 in child care assistance.

The investigation was conducted by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office, Social Services Department and District Attorney's Office.


Unwanted Steamburg guest is wanted in Gowanda

STEAMBURG -- A New Jersey resident unwanted at a house on South Loop Road turned out to be wanted on a warrant from the Village of Gowanda, Cattaraugus County authorities said.

Sonia Gutierrez, 41, of Camden, N.J., was taken into custody last week by sheriff's deputies responding to the report of an unwanted person call. Gutierrez was turned over to Village of Gowanda police to face petit larceny charges.


Hamburg man, 21, killed when struck by vehicle

A 21-year-old Hamburg man was killed early Friday morning when a vehicle struck him on Amsdell Road, Town of Hamburg police said.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred about 4:30 a.m. at Amsdell and Briercliff roads.

Police have received reports the victim had been seen earlier in the area, sitting on a guardrail.

"We don't know why he was in the road," Town of Hamburg Lt. Jim Koch said. "We don't know where he was coming from or where he was going."

No charges have been filed against the driver, described as a 34-year-old woman. However, police still are investigating.


Three fugitives arrested at local border crossings

Three fugitives were arrested Thursday at local border crossings.

Shortly before midnight, Customs and Border Patrol officers arrested a Colorado man who was trying to enter the United States over the Peace Bridge. A records check determined that John Grahame, 35, is the target of felony warrant issued in Las Vegas in connection with charges that he wrote a bad check. Grahame was turned over to Buffalo police pending extradition to Nevada.

Earlier Thursday, Border Patrol officers arrested an Ontario man after discovering that he was wanted in Florida for a 1995 theft. A warrant charges Franco Nardolillo, 40, with grand theft and possession of stolen property. The suspect was turned over to Niagara Falls police pending his extradition to Florida.

Customs and Border Patrol officers stationed at the Lewiston Bridge arrested a Jamaica, N.Y., man after he tried to enter the United States. Officials said a records check determined that Desmond Duke, 29, was traveling with someone who has a court-authorized order of protection against him.


Barker woman facing aggravated DWI charge

WRIGHTS CORNERS -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies arrested a Barker woman on a felony driving while intoxicated charge Thursday and accused her of driving with two children in her car.

Renee Askins, 34, who was pulled over on Lockport-Olcott Road in Wrights Corners, was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and felony aggravated DWI under the state's Leandra's Law.

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