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Bad Week for the Bad Guys


04/23/2014

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that another group of gun-toting thugs have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

21 year-old Maurice Brown pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka.  This is the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. On December 30, 2013 NFTA officers responded to calls of a man selling marihuana at the Utica Street train station. Officers approached Brown and his girlfriend and found an unlicensed and loaded revolver in her purse. Brown admitted the gun belonged to him and he had secreted it in his girlfriend’s purse without her knowledge. Brown faces a minimum of 3½ years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced by Judge Pietruszka on June 16, 2014. This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mara L. McCabe, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trials Bureau.   

16 year-old Andre Vernon pleaded guilty, as charged, to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka. This is the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. On March 10, 2014 Buffalo Police Officers Joseph Wendel and Daniel Owczarczak apprehended the defendant, after a foot chase, and found an unlicensed and loaded semi-automatic pistol in Vernon’s possession. Vernon would normally face a minimum of 3½ years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison. However, Judge Pietruszka will likely adjudicate Vernon as a so-called “Youthful Offender” when he is sentenced on June 23, 2014. Despite objections from Assistant District Attorney Mara L. McCabe, who successfully prosecuted the case, Judge Pietruszka modified the defendant’s bail which resulted in the defendant being released from custody. 

18 year-old Lance Parker of Johnson Street, Buffalo, pleaded guilty, as charged, to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka. This is the highest charge for which Parker could have been convicted had he gone to trial. On February 13, 2014, Buffalo Police Officers Mark Hamilton and Michael Acquino observed Parker stuffing a large object in the front of his waistband. The officers approached Parker and asked “What are you stuffing down your pants?” Parker replied, “I got a MAC on me.” Officer Acquino searched Parker and recovered an unlicensed Master Piece Arms Model 9mm semi-automatic pistol loaded with 16 rounds of live ammunition. Judge Pietruszka indicated he will also consider adjudicating Parker as a so-called “Youthful Offender” when he is sentenced on June 16, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Lauren Nash who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trials Bureau. 

40 year-old Antonio M. Hunter, of 146 Germain Street, Buffalo pleaded guilty, as charged, to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. On May 23, 2013 Buffalo Police, in conjunction with federal agents, executed a search warrant for Hunter’s home as part of “Operation Riverside Renewal.” DEA Agent Jason Rouch discovered $4,500 and an unlicensed 9mm Luger semi-automatic pistol, loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, in Hunter’s closet. Buffalo Police Detective Dave Kobler found 8 bags of cocaine in Hunter’s kitchen cabinet.  No stranger to law enforcement, Hunter was previously convicted on Criminal Possession a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree in 2008 and therefore faces a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on June 25, 2014 by Judge DiTullio. Hunter was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney James E. Gardner, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trials Bureau.