BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A former Buffalo convenience store owner convicted of welfare fraud and burglary returned to court. Ahmed Alshami's new case now heads to a grand jury as he waived his right Monday to a felony hearing in Buffalo City Court.

Alshami, 38, is charged with first-degree robbery, using a dangerous instrument and criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly robbing the 7-11 on East Lovejoy Street. Police say a witness thought they saw a gun inside his pocket. He then allegedly left with an unknown amount of cash. He remains in custody as he hasn't posted bail.

Alshami owned the now-shuttered IGA Community Express Mart on Ludington Street in Buffalo's Lovejoy neighborhood. He was sentenced back in May to six months in jail, plus probation, for welfare fraud and burglary. He also owes nearly $4,000 in restitution on the welfare fraud count.

Alshami admitted he bought food stamps from people, often at half-value, to buy groceries and other goods at supermarkets to stock the shelves of his Lovejoy deli. The store was shut down when city revoked its license for selling untaxed cigarettes and secondhand merchandise.

While they offered no comment today, through several court appearances, the Alshami family claimed they were victims of a vendetta.