Five More Gun-Toting Hoodlums Prosecuted to Fullest Extent of the Law

Modified: September 11, 2015 10:56am

7/1/2015

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces the convictions of the following defendants for illegal possession of a loaded and unlicensed handgun.  All of the defendants were convicted of the highest charge – Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class “C” violent felony – lodged against them.  In other words, none of the defendants received a so-called plea bargain and all were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

30 year old Michael Early of 29 Ivy Street in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka.

On August 12, 2014, Buffalo Police Officers Michael Acquino, Justin Tedesco, Mark Hamilton and Joseph Acquino observed Early and several others drinking and playing dice on Dodge Street in Buffalo. When the officers approached the group to issue citations, Early backed away and fled into a nearby house. The officers chased Early and placed him under arrest. As they were doing so, Early attempted to remove his trousers. The reason for doing so became clear: there was a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic in a pocket. Early feebly denied he knew there was a loaded gun in his pants and offered an explanation why it was found there: the police planted it on him.

No stranger to the criminal justice system, Early was previously convicted of a felony assault and was sentenced to 3½ years in prison in connection with that charge. Accordingly, he faces a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on August 24, 2015, before Judge Pietruszka.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Williams, III, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.

28 year-old Otis Williams of 36 Olympic Avenue in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree as charged before State Supreme Court Judge Penny M. Wolfgang.

On March 26, 2015, Buffalo Police Department Narcotics Detectives executed a search warrant at Williams’ residence. Williams was the target of the search warrant and was home, with his infant son, when the detectives entered. The detectives recovered 68.50 grams of fentanyl in an upstairs bedroom and a loaded pistol in the side pocket of the infant’s crib.  Williams admitted to officers that both the drugs and gun belonged to him but that he was not concerned that the children could access the loaded gun because, “We never use that pocket anyway.” 

Williams now stands convicted of his second gun-related felony.  In 2008, Williams pleaded guilty to Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.  Williams faces a maximum term of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by Judge Wolfgang on August 25, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Meghan E. Leydecker, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau. 

18 year-old Malik Wilson of 199 E. Amherst Street in the City of Buffalo, pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before County Court Judge Michael F. Pietruszka.

On April 24, 2015, Buffalo Police Officers Michael Acquino, Mark Hamilton, Darren McDuffie, and Andrew Whiteford responded to a 911 call of a man with a gun. They soon encountered Wilson, who matched the broadcast description, running from the scene. Wilson unsuccessfully attempted to discard his loaded Colt .38 revolver. After his arrest, Wilson told officers that he needed to carry the gun for protection because “people told me they were shooting out here earlier, so I wanted to be ready.”

Wilson faces a maximum term of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by Judge Pietruszka on August 27, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nathanael C. Kapperman, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.  

26 year-old James Dargan, Jr of 340 Wyoming Street in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged, to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Acting Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller. 

On July 5, 2014, Buffalo Police Homicide Detective Reginald Minor responded to the Erie County Medical Center to interview Dargan, who had earlier been dropped off at the emergency, suffering from two gunshot wounds.  Shockingly, the Dargan refused to cooperate with respect to the shooting but admitted he was dropped off at ECMC by a friend.  Detective Patricia Wrest then interviewed the driver in the hospital waiting room and a search warrant was obtained for his vehicle. Subsequent DNA analysis revealed that the defendant’s DNA matched the DNA found on the revolver. The driver was excluded as a contributor to the DNA found and thus exonerated.

Another frequent participant in the majestic criminal justice system, Dragan has two prior felony convictions and faces a maximum term of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by Judge Boller on July 24, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nathanael C. Kapperman, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.  

23 year-old Anthony Williams, III of Andover Avenue in the City of Buffalo, pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana before Erie County Court Judge Michael D’Amico. 

On July 12, 2014, Buffalo Police officers lawfully stopped a vehicle for a traffic infraction. Williams was the front seat passenger.  When officers approached the vehicle, Williams was visibly nervous and admitted that he was in possession of marihuana.  Subsequent to this admission, Officer Mark Hamilton recovered a loaded .25 caliber handgun from defendant’s pocket.  Upon the recovery of this weapon, defendant claimed he had purchased the gun for $100 on Genesee Street. 

Williams faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on September 10, 2015 before Judge D’Amico. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Diane Meldrim, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.