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FBI Raids Business In Connection With Bribery Probe Of Buffalo Police

6:18 PM, Dec 6, 2012   |    comments
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Buffalo, N.Y. - On Wednesday, the Buffalo FBI executed a search warrant at a Buffalo towing business, Jim Mazz Auto on Bailey Avenue.

In addition to the FBI, sources tell 2 On Your Side that the IRS, New York Departments of Taxation, Motor Vehicles and Finance and Buffalo Police were involved in the raid as well.

No arrests were made Wednesday, but agents did seize records and computers as part of a federal search warrant.

Over the summer, 2 On Your Side reported that Jim Mazz Auto was among the towing businesses being investigated by the FBI for allegedly bribing Buffalo police officers in order to get towing business at accident scenes. The drivers not only wanted the tow, but the chance to get the collision repair work which could be worth thousands of dollars per car.

Jim Mazzarello owns the repair shop where today's search took place. His attorney, Steve Cohen, claims Mazzarello has been trying to bring the issue of bribery in the tow truck industry to light for years and is now being retaliated against.

Steve Cohen: "My guy's been out of that, he's been out of the whole bribery business for years."

Scott Brown: "Are you saying your client bribed Buffalo police officers in the past but hasn't done it in a while?"

Steve Cohen: "I'm saying many years ago our tow truck drivers were put in the position by police offices that 'if you want to get this tow you better hand us a twenty dollar bill or a fifty dollar bill'. So we brought a list of officers to the Brown administration and said look, this is what's going on and instead Byron Brown wouldn't take a meeting with me."

But a source close to the investigation tells 2 On Your Side's Scott Brown that Police commissioner Dan Derenda did meet with Cohen over the summer and that Cohen was not willing to provide the city with any names of officers who had allegedly taken bribes.

Scott Brown: "Do you expect any Buffalo police officers to be indicted as a result of this?"

Mayor Byron Brown: "We are going to let the investigation go in any direction that it may lead and leave no stone unturned."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WGRZ

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