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Dan Herbeck

Dan Herbeck is an investigative reporter who has been at The Buffalo News for nearly 40 years. He is a graduate of Sweet Home High School, Erie County Community College and St. Bonaventure University. He and Lou Michel wrote a best-selling book in 2001 about Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, "American Terrorist."


A government agent underwent a full day of questioning by defense attorneys Tuesday as a preliminary hearing continued in U.S. District Court for three men accused of planning to smuggle supercomputers to the Soviet Union.Special Agent Jerry Hobbs of the U.S. Commerce Department was asked about the probe, which led to Friday's arrests of three men in the Sheraton Hote…

A Seattle businessman went undercover to help government agents make tape recordings of more than 160 conversations with one of the men held in an international computer-smuggling ring broken in Buffalo last week, an agent testified late Monday.Several of the recordings were played in U.S. District Court during a bail hearing for three men arrested here Friday in conn…

Blacks and women sat on one side of a federal courtroom Friday.White males and their relatives sat on the other.U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin sat in the middle.After a daylong hearing, Curtin told attorneys for the two sets of spectators that he may issue an order next week changing minority-hiring quotas in the Buffalo police and fire departments.Curtin told the…

Jurors on Thursday watched television news videotapes from 1984 in an effort to learn whether Buffalo police acted properly when they shot and killed Roy Banas in the spring of the year.Although police testified Banas fired one shot that grazed an officer's head, fired another shot that narrowly missed a second policeman and threatened to shoot others on May 7, 1984, …

Jurors on Thursday watched television news videotapes from 1984 in an effort to learn whether Buffalo police acted properly when they shot and killed Roy Banas in the spring of that year.Although police testified Banas fired one shot that grazed an officer's head, fired another shot that narrowly missed a second policeman and threatened to shoot others on May 7, 1984,…

Shortly after a shot whizzed by his head, Lt. Stephen Qualey ordered a sniper to shoot Roy Banas, the lieutenant testified Wednesday.The members of his Special Weapons and Tactics team had no intention of killing Banas when they entered a Seneca Street home where Banas had barricaded himself with a rifle on May 7, 1984, Qualey testified Wednesday to a jury and U.S. Di…

Five years ago, George Battaglia, a member of the Buffalo Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team, shot and killed Roy Banas, a 58-year-old junk collector who, armed with a rifle, had barricaded himself inside a ramshackle house on Seneca Street.Tuesday, Battaglia broke a long public silence to tell how and why.The sharpshooter was pressed to explain his …

A decade-long series of court battles over Buffalo Public Schools' funding and desegregation has put more than $2 million of taxpayers' money into the pockets of attorneys, a study by The Buffalo News shows.More courtroom fighting -- and more legal bills -- are on the way.All sides of the dispute said they are unhappy so much time and money have been spent litigating …

The good times started rolling Saturday afternoon in Pilot Field when a gray-bearded old-timer named Willie Nelson replaced Bobby Meacham at second base.Meacham did not have a memorable day for the Buffalo Bisons. Although the team won an important game against the Louisville Redbirds, he grounded into two double plays and allowed a runner to reach first with some slo…

Buffalo-based tax agents are throwing a brushback pitch at Billy Martin, the baseball legend now living as a quiet farmer in the Binghamton area.A $35,564.62 tax lien has been filed against Martin by agents working out of the Internal Revenue Service's Buffalo district office, The Buffalo News has learned.The lien against Martin -- the former New York Yankees manager …

One week after completing a nine-month court battle over funding for the Buffalo public schools, three attorneys want U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin to bring the Board of Education, the Griffin administration and the Common Council back to court to justify more than $9.2 million in cuts for the 1989-90 school year.Two of the attorneys also are asking for the appoi…

Authorities are weighing homicide charges against a suspected smuggler who allegedly swam to safety while four illegal aliens drowned during a dangerous night crossing of the icy Niagara River last winter.The smuggling suspect is believed to have been the sole survivor of the Dec. 30 attempt to use a cheap rubber raft to ferry four aliens into the United States near L…

Six people were charged today with smuggling illegal aliens into Western New York in a case that involves the apparent drowning of four people who attempted to cross the icy Niagara River in a cheap rubber raft last winter.The indictments announced this morning by U.S. Attorney Dennis C. Vacco resulted from the investigation that began Jan. 3 when the body of a Malays…

Secret surveillance planes and infrared photography are being used in an FBI investigation into charges of environmental-law violations at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver.On June 6, 70 government agents raided the U.S. Department of Energy plant with a court-authorized search warrant.Now the FBI is investigating an Energy Department facility in Weste…