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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Woman pleads not guilty to sale, possession of drugs

LOCKPORT -- A Grand Island woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday in State Supreme Court to sale and possession of both heroin and methadone.

Danielle L. Kotas, 29, of Carter Drive, was arraigned before Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. after being indicted on charges of third-degree sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree sale and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. She is free on $5,000 bond.

Kotas allegedly sold methadone and heroin to a confidential informant in North Tonawanda on Jan. 13 and 14. She was arrested in April.

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Three men investigated in the theft of copper

NIAGARA FALLS -- Three men are currently under investigation for stealing copper in the city after they were found with 150 pounds of copper scrap in the trunk of their vehicle following a traffic stop by Amherst police last week.

The men, whose names have not been released, were stopped Thursday and later admitted to Niagara Falls police that they had been stealing copper from buildings in Niagara Falls.

The driver told Niagara Falls police they have been looking for scrap in alleys and dumpsters every week. Another suspect described buildings, including the former Heritage Manor, which has lost tens of thousands of dollars following three copper thefts, as well as a vacant apartment building in the 400 block of Tenth Street.

A third man told police that he was just along for the ride and fell asleep but also described similar buildings and the two other men carrying a bin full of copper to the vehicle.

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Worker charged in theft of transformer brackets

NIAGARA FALLS -- A production worker at M&M Electric was charged Monday with stealing transformer brackets, valued at $5,000, from his company.

Peter A. Scalzo, 22, of 17th Street, was charged with felony third-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal trespassing.

A company employee told police that he saw a blue pickup leaving with the metal from the storage yard on Henry Avenue just before noon and was able to follow the vehicle for a short distance and record the license plate.

Police said they stopped Scalzo heading north on the Niagara Thruway, but he got out of the vehicle and fled. He was located on Girard Avenue, underneath an overpass.

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Motorcyclist undergoes surgery after crash

An East Amherst woman underwent trauma surgery Tuesday night following a motorcycle crash at New and Old Oak Post roads.

Terry S. Henderson, 59, was taken to Erie County Medical Center by Twin City Ambulance.

Amherst Police Capt. Patrick McKenna said Henderson was turning her 2011 Harley-Davidson south onto New Road from Old Oak Post Road when the cycle went off the road and struck a tree at about 6:28 p.m.

Henderson suffered head trauma and several broken ribs, McKenna said.

Swormville Fire Company volunteers assisted police at the scene.

McKenna said an initial determination was made that speed was not a factor in the crash, which is being investigated by the Amherst Police Accident Investigation Unit.

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Man suing Facebook agrees to release emails

The Allegany County man who claims to own half of the social networking giant Facebook has agreed to release his personal emails.

Lawyers for Paul Ceglia, of Wellsville, filed court papers late Monday indicating their client has consented to giving Facebook access to all his email accounts dating back to 2003.

Ceglia's decision came just weeks after a federal court judge upheld another judge's order requiring him to release his email accounts. Ceglia had objected on privacy and other grounds.

Facebook wants access to the accounts to try to disprove Ceglia's claims that when he hired company founder Mark Zuckerberg for another project, he also gave him money to start Facebook.

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Robbers tie up employees of steakhouse, take cash

Four employees of the Outback Steakhouse on McKinley Parkway were tied up by thieves during an armed robbery late Monday, Town of Hamburg police said.

The robbers tied the hands and feet of all four employees with tape during the robbery, which occurred at about 10:15 p.m.

Two thieves, one armed with a gun, entered through the rear door of the restaurant after closing time, as kitchen employees opened the door to take out the trash, police said. The robbers then forced the employees back into the restaurant before taking an undetermined amount of cash.

Following the robbery, the thieves, joined by a third accomplice, fled in a car parked in the front lot. That vehicle later was recovered by Buffalo police outside the Maryner Towers, on Buffalo's Lower West Side, and taken to Hamburg Police Headquarters for processing. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Hamburg police at 648-5118, Ext. 2614.

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