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POLICE & COURTS

Marijuana operation raided; two arrested

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- Two people were arrested and a third suspect is sought after Niagara Regional Police ended a one-month investigation Thursday afternoon by raiding a Manning Street residence and breaking up a suspected marijuana sales operation.

Jeff Sager, 45, and Reid Dyson, 18, were held pending a bail hearing today on charges of possession of drugs for trafficking. Sought is Chantal Martineau, who was not around when officers arrived at the residence with a search warrant. Police said they seized cash, hashish and a large quantity of marijuana.

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Ex-inmate sentenced in gift-card fraud

A former inmate who defrauded home improvement stores out of $90,000 while in jail has been sentenced to 10 more years in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. reported Thursday.

While in Livingston Correctional Facility in late 2005 and early 2006, Randall McGovern, 41, of Niagara Falls, used the prison phone to make three-way calls to toll-free gift-card numbers and made unauthorized gift card orders in the names of several businesses.

Prosecutors said McGovern also sold construction equipment that he knew was the subject of federal tax liens and failed to notify the Internal Revenue Service, preventing the IRS from collecting $193,635 in taxes in 2008 and 2009.

Characterizing McGovern as a "career fraudster" given to "pathological lying," Skretny ordered him to make restitution and sentenced him to 87 months in prison for the gift-card fraud and three years in prison for obstructing the IRS.

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Man, 50, arrested after altercation

IRVING -- An Irving man was arrested at about 9 a.m. Wednesday following an altercation with another man on Christy Road in the Town of Hanover, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies report.

Nicholas A. Restivo, 50, of Christy Road, allegedly displayed a weapon during the dispute. He was charged with second-degree menacing and second-degree harassment and given tickets to appear in Hanover Town Court.

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Cattaraugus man jailed on court warrant

NEW ALBION -- Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies report that Michael L. Bogardus, 48, of New Albion Road, Cattaraugus, is jailed in lieu of $1,000 bail after his arrest on a warrant from the New Albion Town Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Bogardus was arraigned in Dayton Town Court on charges of second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree harassment.

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Teen, juvenile arrested in Glenwood Avenue home

An East Ferry Street teen and a juvenile were arrested Wednesday morning after Buffalo police said they caught them inside a home in the 500 block of Glenwood Avenue.

Mario Crawford, 16, and the juvenile were charged with second-degree burglary and criminal mischief. Officers Michael McAndrews and Mark Tripp said they found the pair holding stolen jewelry.

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Arrest made in choking of woman outside home

A South Buffalo teen was arrested for allegedly choking a woman outside his Indian Church Road home Wednesday morning.

David A. Flanagan, 18, was arrested by Officers Adrian Evans and Michael Ross on a charge of criminal obstruction of breathing after the woman, an Amber Street resident, claimed that when she walked away from him and got into her car, he began punching the car windows and then began choking her, bruising her neck and causing substantial pain.

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Two Broadway bars receive 15 bogus $20 bills

The owner of two Buffalo bars told police Wednesday that bartenders had received 15 counterfeit $20 bills.

The bills, which were passed at Laurel & Hardy's Tavern at 1388 Broadway and the Overtime Sports Bar & Grill at 2055 Broadway, were turned over to the U.S. Secret Service's Buffalo office. Bar owner Allan Jerge said he did not know who passed the phony bills.

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Buffalo man is arrested in sale of counterfeit items

FBI agents arrested a Buffalo man Wednesday in connection with the alleged sale of counterfeit goods in Petersburg, Va.

Belal Amin Alsaidi, 30, is charged with buying apparel and shoes that he knew were counterfeit and then selling the merchandise at his two stores in Petersburg.

The government alleges that he sold goods bearing fake trademarks for companies such as Nike, NFL and Lacoste.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Richmond said Alsaidi recently moved from Petersburg to Buffalo. He said there is no evidence to suggest that Alsaidi was involved in any wrongdoing here.