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03/27/09 06:56 AM

Suspended officer faces expanded indictment

In a superseding indictment, federal prosecutors Thursday charged suspended Niagara Falls Police Officer Ryan Warme with withdrawing money from cash machines on 81 different occasions to buy cocaine.

The cash withdrawals ranged from $100 to $500 each and took place between June 2006 and November 2008, Assistant U. S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce said in court papers. The 11- count superseding indictment expands on the charges initially filed last December against Warme, 27, of Grand Island.

Warme is accused of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, wire fraud, depriving Niagara Falls citizens of honest services, multiple civil rights crimes, possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, extortion, carrying a firearm during a drug crime and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Warme, who has been jailed and suspended since his arrest, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was arrested after a lengthy investigation by officers from his own department working with the FBI, the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms&Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Agents charge that Warme committed many of the alleged crimes while on duty and wearing his police uniform..