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Crime

Ennis E. Ruffin Sr., whose criminal record includes multiple convictions for selling crack cocaine in Niagara Falls, will serve seven years in state prison for two felonies. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon gave Ennis a three-year sentence Monday, but ordered it to be served after he finishes a four-year term he received a few weeks ago in Niagara Falls City Court. …

Crime

A homeless sex offender from Niagara Falls pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of failing to report a change of address. Robert E. Draper, 58, was rated a Level 3 offender for having sex with an 11-year-old girl in the Falls in 1996. He served seven years in prison for that, according to the state sex offender website. Draper didn't report a move he made in Augu…

Crime

Brandon A. Ortiz, 20, of McKoon Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Tuesday to a 28-count indictment accusing him of robbing 7-Eleven stores in the Falls and North Tonawanda and participating in a home invasion where six people were robbed. Ortiz allegedly joined Joshua A. Carr, 18, of Ontario Avenue in the Falls, in a store holdup Oct. 6 a…

Crime

The man accused of murdering North Tonawanda teenager Mandy Steingasser in 1993 will be allowed to keep the attorneys he hired. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon has decided against an effort by the Niagara County District Attorney's Office to oust defense lawyers Dominic H. Saraceno and Michele G. Bergevin. Prosecutors cited a perceived conflict of interest stemming fr…

Crime

An Erie County jury found a Buffalo man guilty Monday of second-degree murder for shooting a man to death and attempted second-degree murder for shooting a woman who survived. Tong Rieang, 25, was also found guilty of one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree assault and first-degree attempted robbery, as well as two counts of first-d…

Buffalo

Buffalo police have released the name of the man killed Thursday night in a shooting on the city's East Side. Benjamin C. Babiak, 31, was shot at about 8:40 p.m. in the vicinity of Warring Avenue and Antwerp Street, just east of Bailey Avenue, between Doat and Genesee streets, police said. Babiak, of Cheektowaga, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not rele…

Local News

A Fredonia police officer Monday afternoon fatally shot a man holding a knife and who refused to stop advancing on the officer, said an attorney hired by the village police union. The knife-wielding man was covered in blood from self-inflicted wounds, the lawyer said. Neither the Police Department nor the lawyer would identify the officer. "There were multiple witnes…

Crime

Vintaun D. Weathers accepted a plea bargain Monday stemming from a May 18 robbery in which a man was shot in the knee at 17th Street and Pierce Avenue in the Falls. Weathers, 33, of South Avenue, Niagara Falls, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III promised to limit his pri…

Crime

A 22-year-old man was struck in the face with a bottle at a Buffalo gas station on Sunday night, according to a police report. The attack happened near the corner of William Street and Michigan Avenue at about 11 p.m. The victim, who was transported to Buffalo General Medical Center, told police two males attacked him and then fled the area in a green sedan, accordin…

Crime

The sale of an item set up over Facebook ended with the arrests of four juveniles on Sunday afternoon, according to a Buffalo police report. The victim told police he was robbed at about 4 p.m. on Hughes Avenue, between Jefferson Avenue and Meech Street, by four assailants who displayed what appeared to be a handgun. A BB gun was recovered, according to the report, w…

Crime

A woman called Buffalo police Sunday afternoon after she found three bullet holes in her rental car. The victim told police the vehicle was damaged sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday and 12:50 p.m. Sunday on Walden Avenue, between Loepere Street and Sweet Avenue, according to a police report. All of the damage was done to the driver's side of the car, according to the …

Crime

A federal probation officer recommends that Alain Kaloyeros – once billed as upstate New York's economic savior, but now a convicted felon – be sent to prison for four years for masterminding a bid-rigging scheme that steered hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to politically favored contractors. But lawyers for the former SUNY Polytechnic chief, who was …

Crime

A Chautauqua County man faces a felony assault charge after a woman was taken by Mercy Flight Sunday night from the Town of Hanover to Erie County Medical Center, according to authorities. Kenneth L. Monture, 41, of Jamestown, was charged with second-degree assault after the female victim was seriously injured in an attack around 11 p.m. at an unspecified location in Ha…

Crime

A suspect is in custody following an armed robbery about 4:30 p.m. Sunday on Hughes Avenue across the street from the Canisius College Student Center, Kimberly Beaty, the college’s director of public safety, reported in a campus notification email. Beaty said the robbery at 69 Hughes appeared to be preplanned and “associated with the purchase of a cellphone from an indi…

Crime

What was termed as a "small kitchen fire" caused heavy smoke inside a home at 323 Ferry Ave. in Niagara Falls early Sunday, according to reports. Emergency crews arriving at the scene just after 12:30 a.m. found heavy smoke pouring out the open front door and a 46-year-old woman standing outside, coughing. She told police she had been awakened by a smoke alarm, and upon…