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Buffalo man, 32, indicted in pair of bank robberies

A 32-year-old Buffalo man is charged with bank robberies in Jamestown and North Carolina and is a fugitive, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.

Philip A. Purdue is accused of robbing the Jamestown Savings Bank last Nov. 5, and a bank in Kings Mountain, N.C., on Nov. 22. His indictment Friday followed an investigation by the FBI and Jamestown police.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the Buffalo FBI office at 856-7800.


Restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

A Jamestown restaurant owner pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mortgage fraud charges on Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Steven Carlson, 52, of Jamestown, evaded the payment of his federal taxes from 2001 until 2008 by illegally putting businesses and properties in names of other people, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala said.

She added that Carlson gave false financial information -- including falsified tax returns -- to a bank in Florida to get a loan of more than $2 million, and then defaulted on the loan.

Agents from the Internal Revenue Service criminal division and the Buffalo FBI office investigated Carlson's business dealings before charging him criminally last year.


Apartment house fire claims life in Wellsville

WELLSVILLE -- A fire Friday afternoon ripped through a apartment house, fatally injuring one person, authorities said.

The fire broke out about 3:20 p.m. at 262 E. Dyke St. in the village, Wellsville police said. Further information was unavailable late Friday.


Inspector hurt in fall settles for $700,000

A construction site inspector seriously injured on a bridge reconstruction job in Depew about seven years ago has accepted a $700,000 insurance settlement, his attorney said Friday.

Paul Wzontek, 57, of the Town of Tonawanda, who had been hired by the state Department of Transportation, suffered severe lower back injuries when he fell off an unsecured 12-foot ladder on Dec. 9, 2003, while inspecting A&L work on a bridge on Broadway between Dick and Bordon roads.

Anne Beltz Rimmler said carriers for A&L Inc., a general contractor based in Belle Vernon, Pa., made the offer after two weeks of testimony during an unsafe workplace jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Walker.


Buffalo woman charged under Leandra's Law

A Buffalo woman was charged Thursday night with felony driving while intoxicated under Leandra's Law after state troopers stopped her for driving with inadequate headlights on Bailey Avenue, officials said.

The troopers who stopped Elestra Lane, 52, said she appeared to be intoxicated when they pulled her over. A test later showed her blood-alcohol level was .16 percent, twice the legal limit.

There were two children under 16 in the vehicle. In addition, troopers found cocaine in her possession.

Lane was charged with additional counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, false personation, second-degree impersonation, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana.

An adult passenger in the car, Sandra McGee, 41, was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Both women were taken to the Erie County Holding Center.


North Collins teens tied to theft of car

Two North Collins teenagers are charged with grand larceny and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after they were caught last month with a stolen vehicle, Erie County sheriff's officials said.

The male teens -- one 16 and the other 17 -- were arrested Thursday following an extensive sheriff's investigation, arraigned in North Collins Town Court and released pending future court action. Their names were withheld by police because of their ages.

Authorities said a Langford Road resident called police early Dec. 19 reporting her car was stolen overnight from her driveway. The car was found the next day in the parking lot of a local church, police said.


Racketeering plea means prison for gang member

A Buffalo man faces 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to racketeering charges as part of his involvement in the 10th Street Gang, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said Thursday.

As a member of the 10th Street gang from 2004 to 2010, Edwin Rivera, 22, sold marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs on the West Side.

Rivera solicited other 10th Street gang members to shoot and kill Anthony Colon in June 2009 by offering money, jewelry and other items. Colon, a rival gang member, shot Rivera in the head and neck a month earlier, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi. Rivera will be sentenced June 20 by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

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