Home Buffalo Press Releases 2010 Western District of New York a Leader in Organized Crime/Drug Prosecutions

Western District of New York a Leader in Organized Crime/Drug Prosecutions

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 28, 2010
  • Western District of New York (716) 843-5700

BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) statistics for fiscal year 2010 show that the Western District of New York leads all United States Attorney’s Offices within the New York-New Jersey region in the number of indictments filed in federal court. The OCDETF records also show that the office is second in the number of defendants convicted, with only the substantially larger Southern District of New York (Manhattan) exceeding Western New York.

According to preliminary statistics provided by the Department of Justice, during the fiscal year, which concluded on September 30, the Western District of New York returned 90 indictments or informations charging 251 defendants with serious violations of federal narcotics or gun trafficking laws. In this same period, the Office obtained convictions of 179 defendants, with the remainder pending further proceedings.

Recent efforts of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force include the September 23, 2010 indictment and arrest of 27 members and associates of Buffalo’s so-called 10th Street Gang. The charges in this case consist of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and firearm offenses. Some defendants in this case are alleged to have committed three murders, 10 attempted murders, and multiple instances of witness intimidation, assault, and robbery.

Also as a result of the OCDETF, 17 people across Western New York were arrested and charged with a wide variety of federal narcotics trafficking offenses on August 17. The arrests were based upon a federal indictment charging them with unlawful trafficking of cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin, Ecstasy, marijuana, and prescription drugs.

Still other OCDETF statistics from the end of the third quarter indicate the Western District of New York is also first in the number of indictments filed involving financial violations, with 11, and second in the number of defendants convicted of financial violations, with six.

An example of an indictment charging a financial federal law consists of the September 16, 2010 indictment charging Jerry Robbins, owner of Finish Line Auto Sales on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo, with conspiracy to launder money through the sale of high end motor vehicles to known drug dealers. 

“I am very proud of the hard work being done by the attorneys in my Office along with our partners at such federal agencies as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Coast Guard as well as state and local law enforcement,”  said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “While statistics alone don’t always tell the story of the success of an Office, here they do given that the crimes prosecuted are some of the most serious and violent of crimes. The public should know that we are committed and will continue to vigorously prosecute all criminals who attempt to rip apart the very fabric of our communities with guns and drugs.” 

Hochul specifically praised the work of Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch, Chief of the Office’s Narcotics Division, and Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph Guerra, Anthony Bruce, Thomas Duszkiewicz, Michael McCabe, Mary Kane, William Gillmeister, Katie Baumgarten, Joel Violanti, Richard Kaufman, Douglas Gregory, Frank Sherman, Jennifer Noto, Charles Moynihan, Robert Marangola and Brett Harvey.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The U.S. Attorney’s Office works with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Internal revenue Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and state and local law enforcement.