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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 globe-trotting San Francisco man and the son of an African ambassador are the key drug traffickers arrested in an international "sting" operation that started in Buffalo, federal prosecutors said Thursday."Operation BUSICO" -- a three-year investigation that resulted in 200 arrests -- had its beginnings here, but the probe's real focus was on international drug conn…

Waldemar Bazylewicz hardly could be blamed for getting a bit emotional Thursday when he heard a choral group singing "America the Beautiful" in U.S. District Court.Bazylewicz, his parents and his wife paid a high price to see the amber waves of grain in Western New York. They sold everything they had in their native Poland to get passports that allowed them to travel …

Federal agents today began arresting more than 200 international drug-trafficking suspects implicated in a widespread, three-year investigation that started in Buffalo and apparently cracked an organized-crime heroin and cocaine ring.The Buffalo case was initially designed to concentrate on drug-trafficking rings in Western New York and was code-named "Busico," which …

A fast-living Niagara County drug dealer is giving the government his house, a mobile home, two Corvettes, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, an $8,000 diamond ring and almost $50,000 cash under a plea-bargaining agreement approved Monday in U.S. District Court.Garrett Whittall also plans to give the government as much as 10 years of his life -- in a federal prison.The for…

Since the Nov. 16 drug raid when he was shot three times, Carl Thompson has had a hard time sleeping at night.But it isn't fear, anger, regret or any other emotion that keeps the Buffalo police veteran awake. It's physical agony."I toss and turn all night long, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in," Thompson said. "And then I have these fevers and spells …

There it was, that awful smell againthe ghastly odor that comes from keeping too many dogs and cats in filthy conditions under one roof. Charlie Braun and Mike Armatys had seen worse, but this one was pretty bad.It was a home on Buffalo's West Side, where a man had kept 68 dogs and cats. Unsupervised, some of the animals had attacked each other. A fierce Doberman had lef…

Information from a group of distressed Buffalo teen-agers has led to charges against a 13-year-old boy accused of setting fire to Stinky, the stray dog injured last month during an attack near the Peace Bridge, authorities said Wednesday.The Busti Avenue suspect, whose name was not released because of his age, was petitioned to Family Court on animal cruelty charges, …

A federal jury may have to decide whether an illegal cable-television hookup could be worth $810,517.John R. Sole of Amherst, who owns rental properties in the city, is the target of the first major federal lawsuit filed here in connection with allegations of theft of cable-television service.The cable company contends that Sole not only had an illegal cable hookup, b…

Atlantic Richfield Co. has agreed to spend an estimated $9 million to clean up a hazardous-waste site in the Town of Wellsville, the U.S. attorney's office said late Tuesday.The cleanup, which is expected to take at least two years, would eliminate a potential health hazard on the 12.5-acre site of the old Sinclair Oil Refinery in Allegany County, said Assistant U.S. …

A Buffalo travel agency has agreed to stop selling Super Bowl tickets for $575 and will return all the money collected from people who agreed to buy them, a spokesman for state Attorney General Robert Abrams said Tuesday.The spokesman added that his office will be closely watching for any indications of Super Bowl ticket scalping in the Buffalo area as the Bills make …

After 40 years running a delicatessen, selling camping trailers and distributing newspapers, Depew's Charles Schmelzer suddenly found himself rich beyond his dreams at 68.Schmelzer's aunt, Wanda Albrecht, had died and left him with a portfolio of blue-chip stocks valued at $334,297. Schmelzer and his wife, Evelyn, decided to keep the inheritance on the stock market, h…

The Buffalo Board of Educa tion must file specific budget in formation to the city by Dec. 1, U.S. District Court Judge John T. Curtin ruled today. The judge said his order -- which had been sought by the Griffin administration and Com mon Council -- would be issued in writing late today or Monday.The ruling requires the board to specify exactly how much it ex pects t…

The Erie County district attorney's office may throw a penalty flag at a Buffalo travel agency's plan to sell 1989 Super Bowl tickets here at nearly six times their face value. Deputy District Attorney Frank J. Clark said late Wednesday that under state law selling tickets to sporting events for more than the face value of the tickets is a crime. The face value of …

Ten white candidates trying to get jobs as Buffalo firefighters claim they have each been passed over 59 times because of their skin color. They call themselves the Eth nics for Equality, and their com plaint is being considered by U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin as part of the ongoing court case in volving hiring discrimination by the Buffalo Police and Fire de…

The Buffalo Board of Educa tion is seeking a federal court or der to keep the city from spending surplus funds until a judge rules on the board's request for an addi tional $15 million from the city. In court papers filed Thursday, attorneys for the board asked U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin to order the Common Council and Mayor Griffin to refrain from spending…