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POLICE & COURTS

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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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 2005 and 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.

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

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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 Nike, NFL and Lacoste items and then selling the merchandise at his two stores in Petersburg.

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.

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2 men accused in burglary at Burgard Street house

Two men were arrested Wednesday morning after Buffalo police Officers Karl Schultz and Jason White-night allegedly caught them burglarizing a Burgard Street house.

Herman A. Mennieweather, 42, of Cornwall Avenue, and Harrison Davis, 33, of Colorado Street, were held on second-degree burglary counts after they were found in a house at 154 Burgard following a call to police.

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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 charged by Officers Adrian Evans and Michael Ross 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 punched the car windows and then choked her, bruising her neck and causing substantial pain.

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Man accused of attacking woman claiming to be wife

A Briscoe Avenue man who told police he never has been married was arrested Wednesday for assaulting a woman who claims he is her husband during a midafternoon argument.

Paul Binnom, 43, was charged by Officers Jose Vega and Christine Sikora with third-degree assault for allegedly attacking the woman in her Jasper Parrish home about 3 p.m.

The 38-year-old woman told officers that Binnom pushed her while they argued and held her down, causing pain in her back and right leg.

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E. Utica Street man charged with DWI after hitting truck

An East Utica Street man was arrested on a drunken driving charge early Wednesday after allegedly striking and heavily damaging a parked pickup truck in the 1400 block of Fillmore Avenue. Police said he tried to drive away, but witnesses kept him from leaving until officers arrived.

Jamie Seales, 59, was charged with drunken driving by Officers Marcus Fears and James Whitaker after he refused field sobriety tests. When Seale consented to a breath test, it showed a blood-alcohol reading of 0.31, nearly four times the legal limit.

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2 men, woman accused in theft of steel plates

Two men and a woman were charged by Cheektowaga Police earlier this week with the theft of steel plates from Upstate Steel on Dale Road.

Police received a tip about 10 p.m. Tuesday that men were loading plates of steel into the back of a red Chevy Blazer. Officer Brad Hebeler arrived to find Paul Kowalski, 38, and Jesse Baker, 27, of East Lovejoy Street, loading the steel into the truck, police said.

Jessica Kobee, no age listed, of the same East Lovejoy address, was in the back of the truck sitting next to a set of bolt cutters, police reported.

Four sheets of steel, valued at just more than $1,000, had already been loaded into the truck. Kowalski, Baker and Kobee were charged with grand larceny, possession of burglar's tools and trespass. All were taken to the Erie County Holding Center.