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POLICE & COURTS

West Valley man accused of trying to shoot turtle

ELLICOTTVILLE -- A West Valley man who admitted he tried to shoot a turtle was arrested for taking small game out of season as he was being questioned on a menacing complaint against him, Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies said.

John J. Kiouses, 51, of Irish Hill Road, was ticketed by deputies, and the case was turned over to the state Department of Environmental Conservation police. Details of the attempted shooting were not provided.

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Large-scale 'chop shop yields high-end auto parts

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. -- More than $5 million in cars and parts were discovered in what appears to have been a large-scale "chop shop" operation, Niagara Regional Police said.

A joint investigation involving several agencies led to the arrest Tuesday of Gueorgi Tsigirlash, 42, of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Police said he was involved in an operation that spanned the Golden Horseshoe region of Canada.

Searches were conducted at three properties associated with Auto Enterprises Inc., an auto-wrecking business.

Porsche, Mercedes and BMW vehicles and parts have been seized from the properties, police said.

Tsigirlash was charged with four counts, including possession of property obtained by crime and fraud over $5,000.

Additional charges are pending as police continue to seize and process additional property.

The investigation continues to determine whether others were involved in the enterprise, police said.

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Man convicted of rape to serve weekends in jail

LITTLE VALLEY -- A Machias man has been sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court to serve weekends in the county jail and probation for his rape conviction last year.

Charles R. Westfall, 24, was sentenced by Judge Larry M. Himelein to four months of weekends in jail and 10 years' probation for his guilty plea to third-degree rape between July and September in Machias with a person under age 17.

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Salamanca man arraigned on three DWI charges

LITTLE VALLEY -- A Salamanca man charged by a Cattaraugus County grand jury in three separate indictments with driving while intoxicated was arraigned this week in county court and entered not guilty pleas.

Daniel S. Smrek, 46, was charged with DWI on March 3 in the Town of Great Valley and April 28 and May 27 in the City of Salamanca. He faces additional charges of driving without a license and various vehicle violations.

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2 arrested in heroin raids in Brockport, Rochester

Two men were arrested Thursday following a monthlong investigation of a heroin ring in Orleans County and Rochester.

Michael G. Lasch Jr., 39, of Brockport, was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of fourth-degree conspiracy. He was arraigned in the Town of Albion Court and is in Orleans County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Raymond Inostroza, 39, of Rochester, is charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of drug paraphernalia and was arraigned in the City of Rochester and sent to Monroe County Jail.

Police said they seized heroin with a street value of $9,000, $55,000 in cash, three loaded weapons, scales, packaging and other drug paraphernalia in separate raids at the homes of the suspects.

Warrants were executed by Orleans and Monroe counties sheriff's offices, Orleans County Major Drug Task Force and Rochester police and narcotics enforcement teams.

Further arrests are expected, authorities said.

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Woman suffers burns in Fort Erie factory

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- A female employee of DMI Industries on Winger Road was burned in an accident Wednesday night.

The employee, who was not identified, was working on a large metal object when her clothes caught fire, according to Niagara Regional Police.

The woman was transported to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, where she was listed in serious but stable condition Thursday evening.

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Two arrested as dog sniffs out pot package

Two men were arrested Tuesday on felony marijuana charges following an investigation by Cheektowaga and NFTA police.

Tom Hicks, 50, of Placerville, Calif., and John Kancar, 42, of Highland Avenue, Town of Tonawanda, were charged with first-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

They were arrested after an NFTA dog became suspicious of a package at the Fed Ex terminal of Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and authorities discovered 10 one-pound bags of high-grade marijuana, police said.

Hicks, the intended recipient, and Kancar were arrested at an unidentified hotel were Hicks was staying, police said.

Detectives also recovered more than $30,000 in cash, police said.

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