State news in brief

Citations for sales of alcohol to minors

ALBANY (AP) — New York state officials say they have cited 141 businesses for selling alcohol to minors as part of a sting operation.

The State Liquor Authority says the citations came after the agency sent underage “decoys” to more than 500 businesses in August, September and October.

The businesses included restaurants, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores and liquor stores around the state.

Businesses charged by the state agency face civil penalties starting from $2,500 to $3,000 for a first-time offense. Repeat offenders can face potential suspension or revocation of their liquor licenses.

Cops: Man stole $400K in watches

BUFFALO (AP) — Police have charged a Detroit man with stealing multiple Rolex watches worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from a New York jewelry store.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo says 23-year-old Davonta Hill is charged with Hobbs Act robbery and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.

The Hobbs Act prohibits robberies affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

Prosecutors say Hill and three other men entered the Reeds-Jenss Jewelry Store in Amherst in February and smashed a display case. Authorities say the men then removed multiple Rolex watches valued at $400,000.

Prosecutors say surveillance footage captured one suspect wearing bright orange sneakers. Police in Ohio later searched a vehicle that Hill was driving after a chase and found a gym bag with orange sneakers.

Anti-Semitic flyers found at university

ROCHESTER (AP) — Officials at the University of Rochester say dozens of anti-Semitic flyers have been found on campus.

WHAM-TV reports the flyers were found Monday morning on a printer at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies on the university’s River Campus.

University spokeswoman Sara Miller says the messages are “reprehensible and cowardly, and they are contrary to the university’s values.”

Miller says the university’s Department of Public Safety is working with law enforcement to investigate.

The discovery of the flyers comes one week after a swastika was found inside an elevator on at the Eastman School of Music in downtown Rochester.

Dean Jamal Rossi says any expressions of bias or hatred is “simply not acceptable.”

Trial jury picked for El Chapo case

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury has been picked for the U.S. trial of the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo.

Seven women and five men were selected Wednesday as jurors in the case against Joaquin Guzman.

The trial is set to begin Nov. 13 with opening statements in federal court in Brooklyn.

Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges, including overseeing a violent drug cartel known for violence and escaping Mexican jails twice.

His notoriety has prompted security measures that include keeping the jurors anonymous. Guzman also has been held in solitary confinement and barred from having visits from his wife.

This week, a defense lawyer asked the judge to allow Guzman’s wife to embrace him in court before opening statements. The judge hasn’t ruled on that.

UK man pleads guilty to scam

BUFFALO (AP) — Federal prosecutors in western New York say a man from the United Kingdom has pleaded guilty to being part of an international boiler room operation that scammed 250 investors out of nearly $3 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo says 47-year-old David Cole of Coventry, England pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Cole participated in a scam operated out of Barcelona, Spain, that bilked investors in the UK and Canada to buy “nearly worthless shares of restricted stock at severely inflated prices.”

Some of the investments were funneled through a bank account in western New York before being sent to overseas accounts controlled by 12 members of the operation.

Cole faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced in February.

By Kerry Minor

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