Six Members of Buffalo East Side Gang Indicted for Racketeering and Other Offenses
Second Racketeering Indictment in One Week Against Different Violent Gangs
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 01, 2012|
BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Buffalo has returned a 28-count indictment charging a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, as well as other offenses, against a group of six men accused of committing numerous acts of violence and narcotics trafficking on the East Side of Buffalo. All six of these defendants face life in prison.
Assistant United States Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that the indictment charges Johnny Rounds, Donald Rounds, Ricky Procter, Lorenzo Hunt, Demario Stewart, and Broderick Robinson, all of Buffalo, New York, with RICO, RICO conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and firearm offenses. The indictment includes charges relating to the murders of three people and the attempted murders of several others, namely:
- the July 10, 2009 murder of Brandon Haugabook, on the corner of Paderewski and Townsend Streets, Buffalo, New York;
- the August 12, 2009 murder of Larry Crosland, on William Street, Buffalo, New York;
- the August 13, 2009 murder of Shawn Kozma, on Reed Street, Buffalo, New York;
- several attempted murders and shootings of rival gang members.
In addition to utilizing the federal racketeering laws to prosecute the various violent crimes identified, the indictment also utilizes another federal statute known as the “Drug Kingpin” law, or the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute. This offense alleges that Johnny Rounds acted as the leader of five or more people to engage in a continuing series of narcotics trafficking offenses. The sales are alleged to have occurred in and around the Reed and Detroit Streets of Buffalo. As alleged in the indictment, these individuals used violence and intimidation to protect this drug distribution enterprise from others, including rival gangs.
“Today’s indictment marks the second occasion in one week where our office has utilized federal statutes to combat violent gangs operating in Buffalo,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. “Along with our indictment last week of a gang operating on the West Side of Buffalo (the 7th Street gang), today’s indictment—which focuses on a gang operating on Buffalo’s East Side—should send a powerful message that regardless of where violence occurs, our law enforcement partners remain committed to identifying and prosecuting those who would hurt the residents of this community.”
The indictment was the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Buffalo Police Department; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; as well as the assistance of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. The evidence was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Louis Violanti, who will handle the trial of the case.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.