Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang Members Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy, Admit Roles in Two Murders
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jordan Hildalgo, 24, and Ritchie Juarbe, 25 both of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
“This case demonstrates that when it comes to murder—or indeed any gang activity—our Office will pursue relentlessly until every perpetrator is brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants were members of the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang which was responsible for multiple acts of violence and the distribution of illegal narcotics on the West Side of Buffalo between 2000 and 2012. The narcotics included heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, and marijuana.
The defendants admitted their roles in the murders of two people:
- On November 6, 2008, Hidalgo and Juarbe went to Raquan Lloyd’s house where Hidalgo shot and killed Lloyd. After the murder, Juarbe discarded the murder weapon, throwing it into the Niagara River.
- On August 11, 2009, Hidalgo participated in the murder of Eric Morrow, a rival 10th Street Gang member, who was shot and killed at the corner of West and Auburn Avenues in Buffalo. Following the murder, Hidalgo got into a getaway vehicle driven by Ritchie Juarbe.
A total of 18 defendants have been charged in this case. To date, 14 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.
The defendants will be sentenced on April 7, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.