Modified: January 8, 2015 12:29pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 39 year-old Pernell Parker was convicted after a jury trial before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and Tampering with Physical Evidence.
On September 1, 2013, Buffalo Police Officer Mark Hamilton observed Parker stuff crack cocaine in his mouth as he walked down the street and into the Walden Express Mart in the City of Buffalo. Officer Hamilton and his partner, Officer Michael Acquino, followed the defendant and observed him throw approximately 15 bags of crack cocaine on the floor of the store in an effort to prevent its collection as evidence against him. Parker resisted arrest, fought with the officers, and fled out the back door of the store, ripping the door off its hinges.
Once detained in the fenced-in backyard of the store, Parker admitted to police that he had just purchased the crack, knew the officers had seen him with it, and just wanted to get away. Parker also made similar admissions to his friends.
Despite the foregoing, as well as crack cocaine possession convictions from 2007 and 2009, and the admission that he used to be a drug dealer, Parker took the witness stand and claimed the entire incident was fabricated by Officers Hamilton and Acquino in revenge for an alleged single telephone message he left with the Buffalo Police Internal Affairs hotline, complaining about the actions of other police officers. The jury quickly rejected Parker’s false and outrageous clams and returned a guilty verdict in under two hours once deliberations commenced.
Parker will be sentenced on January 20, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. by Judge Case and faces a maximum sentence of 4 years in state prison.
This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ashley M. Morgan, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.