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POLICE & COURTS

Victim of Carrollton fire identified; cause unknown

CARROLLTON -- Mark Denfrund, 50, has been identified as the victim of the fire that raced through his home on Ten Mile Road at about 4 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.

The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team has yet to determine the cause of the blaze, Investigator Nate Root said.

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Former teacher going prison in child porn case

A former Dunkirk elementary school teacher who earlier pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography was sentenced Wednesday to 48 months in prison.

Joseph T. Sautter, 38, of Blasdell, also will serve five years of supervised release under the sentence handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

An investigation was launched by school officials who contacted the FBI after suspected child pornography was found on a school computer used by Sautter. Authorities reported that additional child pornography was also found on Sautter's personal computer at his Roseview Avenue apartment.

According to the criminal complaint, Sautter admitted to federal agents that he had a sexual attraction to minor females and downloaded images of girls ages 12-14 posing in sexual positions for about a year prior to his arrest last fall.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who handled the case, authorities determined that the defendant possessed almost 1,500 images of child pornography.

Skretny told Sautter he had abused the trust of the school and the families of the students in the district. Sautter relinquished his teaching license as a result of this case.

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Sex offender pleads guilty to endangerment

LITTLE VALLEY -- A sex offender wanted in Florida has pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the Town of Portville and sentenced to time served in jail since his arrest.

Terrence Harris, 38, of Portville-Ceres Road entered the negotiated plea Monday in Cattaraugus County Court before Judge Larry M. Himelein to two counts of child endangerment between Dec. 21, 2009, and April 13, 2010.

Harris had been held in the county jail since his arraignment in July on grand jury charges of sexual abuse when he pleaded not guilty. After he entered his plea, Himelein ordered Harris held in jail as a fugitive from Florida, where he faces probation violation charges stemming from a rape conviction. Harris is registered Level 1 sex offender, authorities said.

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Marijuana plants seized in Niagara-on-the-Lake raid

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- Marijuana plants valued at $76,410 were seized from a home in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Regional Police said.

A home at 490 Williams St. was searched Tuesday by members of the Niagara Regional Police Service Guns, Gangs and Grows Unit, police said. The marijuana was found growing in the basement, and 76 plants were seized.

The plants were in their early stages of growth, police said. Cocaine, dried marijuana and money were seized from locations elsewhere in the home, police said, as was equipment used to grow the pot.

Camilo Giraldo Gomez, 21, of Hamilton, was arrested on multiple drug-related charges, police said. He remains in custody pending a bail hearing.

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Little Valley man accused of writing bad check

SALAMANCA -- A Little Valley man accused of writing a bad check to pay for food in the Save-A-Lot store in August has been arrested by city police.

Donald J. Kuhaneck II, 34, of Erie Street, was taken into custody Tuesday and is to answer to the charge Jan. 28 in City Court.

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Felony drug charges lodged in trafficking probe

FREDONIA -- A Fredonia man was arrested on felony drug charges Tuesday after Fredonia police and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force conducted a six-month investigation into the trafficking and sale of crack cocaine in Fredonia, Fredonia police reported.

Sylvester J. Thomas Jr., 21, of Eagle Street, was charged with criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and taken to Fredonia Village Jail pending arraignment in Village Court.

Fredonia police said Wednesday the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

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Jamestown man accused of driving while on drugs

JAMESTOWN -- A Jamestown man was charged with driving under the influence of drugs following a crash at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at East Second and Winsor streets, Jamestown police said.

Samuel V. Brigiotta, 57, failed to yield the right of way when he made a turn and triggered a three-car collision, police said.

Brigiotta was being held in Jamestown City Jail pending arraignment.

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