Niagara Gazette

Crime

February 18, 2014

Longoria back in city court|El Casino Buy and Sell owner faces charge of operating without a license.

Niagara Gazette — The well-known owner of a Pine Avenue buy and sell store is in trouble with the law again.

Ruben Longoria, already twice convicted of trafficking in stolen property and once with dealing drugs, will be arraigned in Falls City Court later today on charges he's been doing business for at least two years without a license.

Longoria, 57, 2008 Pine Ave., Apt. 2, is charged with five city code violations of conducting a business without a second-hand dealer license.

Just over two weeks ago, Longoria was sentenced to five years of probation for his guilty plea to charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in November. He had faced a possible five-year prison stay, but Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas gave him a probation sentence instead.

The pleas had stemmed from a deal with prosecutors, who recommended the probation sentence in return for the plea.

In the aftermath of his sentencing, police said the convictions could be used to to shutter Longoria's El Casino Buy and Sell. Days later, the Gazette confirmed police and lawyers from the city Corporation Counsel’s office met to discuss pulling Longoria’s license to do business.

It was then, that city lawyers reportedly told police that Longoria didn't have a second-hand dealer license and hadn't had one since after his 2011 conviction on a stolen property charge.

In October 2011, the owner of a Falls construction company told police he was driving by El Casino Buy & Sell when he spotted heavy construction equipment, for sale, sitting on the front lawn. When he stopped and took a closer look at the equipment, the businessman discovered it was a hammer lauler/breaker, gas post digger and Lincoln mig welder that had been stolen from his company’s storage shed in July 2010.

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