Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang Member and Associate Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that three defendants who were part of or associated with the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
7th Street Gang member Luis Medina, 24, and associate David Tirado, 29, both of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Alejandro Navarro-Gonzalez, who supplied heroin to the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and an $8,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that Luis Medina, as a member of the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang, sold heroin and possessed firearms. In addition, on April 16, 2006, Medina shot a rival 10th Street Gang member with a .22 caliber firearm. Furthermore, on June 13, 2009, while being held in the Erie County Holding Center, Medina learned that his cousin Christian Portes was killed by the 10th Gang members. Medina made a phone call from the holding center requesting that fellow Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang members kill 10th Street Gang members in retaliation for the murder of his cousin. After being released on November 7, 2009, Medina himself fired shots at 10th Gang members.
As an associate, David Tirado sold a .22 caliber rifle to the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang which was later used in the murder of rival 10th gang member Eric Morrow. Tirado also conducted a robbery at 39 Montclair Avenue in Buffalo, a residence he believed contained drugs and money.
Alejandro Navarro-Gonzalez supplied bulk quantities of heroin to the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang which he received from a supplier in Chicago.
A total of 18 defendants have been charged in this case. To date, 17 have been convicted.
The pleas are the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid.
David Tirado will be sentenced on April 11, 2016, at 12:30 p.m.; Luis Medina on April 13, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.; and Alejandro Navarro-Gonzalez on April 14, 2016 at 12:30 p.m., all before Judge Arcara.