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Man behind Molotov cocktail fire pleads guilty

One of three men accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at a Riverside business admitted his guilt this week.

Christopher Gorman, 51, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to damage a building by means of fire or explosive before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Gordman was drinking with Lowell Carey and Ryan Smolinski on the night of June 12, 2014 when Smolinski, upset that his father was losing his business – Western New York Property Contractors at 349 Ontario St. – asked the other two men to help him burn it, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White said.

A few hours later, according to White, Gorman, Smolinski, and Carey went to the Ontario Street business where Carey lit and threw one of the Molotov cocktails onto the roof. He said Smolinski, with Gorman’s help, placed the other Molotov cocktail near a garage door on the side of the building.

Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Buffalo Fire Department said the fire caused $2,207 in damages.

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