Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 19 year-old Steven J. Buchanan of 81 Walden Avenue, Buffalo, pleaded guilty, as charged, to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. This is the highest charge for which Buchanan could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
On July 18, 2012, Buffalo Police observed Buchanan riding a bicycle on the left side of the street against traffic in violation of VTL § 1234(a). When the police approached for purposes of issuing a summons, the defendant fled on foot, threw an object, and was apprehended after a chase. The defendant claimed that he discarded a “fake gun” during the chase. No such object was immediately found and Buchanan was released. Later that evening, patrol officers from the Buffalo Police Department responded to a 911call regarding discarded gun in a yard. The gun--a genuine .380 automatic pistol--was recovered by Officer Michael Acquino. Recalling the earlier incident with Buchanan and noting that the pistol was recovered along his path of flight, Buchanan was located and questioned. He eventually admitted to unlawfully possessing the real pistol.
DA Sedita praised the efforts of the officers, stating: “Because of their presence of mind and dogged determination, another gun-toting hoodlum will face a mandatory term of imprisonment.” Citing his tough no plea bargain policy in most cases of illegal handgun possession, DA Sedita also noted that this case is the fifth conviction this week for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, as charged.
The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Rene Juarez. Buchanan faces a maximum prison term of 15 years when he is sentenced by Judge DiTullio on June 11, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.