Home Buffalo Press Releases 2012 Six Charged in Connection with Buffalo Gang Case
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Six Charged in Connection with Buffalo Gang Case

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 08, 2012
  • Western District of New York (716) 843-5700

BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that six people have been charged by criminal complaint as part of an investigation into the activities of the LRGP street gang. The LRGP gang, which operates primarily in the area of Lathrop, Rother, Playter, and Gibson Streets in the city of Buffalo, is alleged to be an organization engaged in violent criminal activity, including the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine and the use of firearms.

Charged in the criminal complaint are Lester Sessum, 52; Franklin Richards, 30; James Jones, 28; Kevin Emmons, 28; Anthony Clark, 46; and Wilfred Wylie, 31, all of Buffalo. The charges, which include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine and cocaine and the use of a communication facility in furtherance of the commission of a drug offense, carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys George C. Burgasser and Charles B. Wydysh, who are handling the case, stated that according to the criminal complaint, the defendants sold crack cocaine and cocaine between July 2011 and March 2012. The complaint also details how, during the course of the investigation of LRGP, law enforcement officers obtained court authorized wiretaps of principal LRGP drug distributors. According to the complaint, the intercepted conversations revealed that those charged participated in supplying cocaine and crack cocaine to, among others, the LRGP drug distributors.

During the execution of search warrants this morning, officers recovered cocaine, marijuana, and U.S. currency.

“These arrests are just latest in a series of efforts by our office, in partnership with law enforcement on the federal, state, and local levels, to target violent street gangs,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This case should serve as a warning to other organizations and their associates that we will use all of the tools at our disposal to bring an end to the drug trafficking and violence often associated with street gangs.”

The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota. The task force includes members of the Buffalo Police Department, Amherst Police, Cheektowaga Police, Hamburg Police, the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, the Erie County Probation Department, NYS Police, NYS Parole, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigation. Additional assistance was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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