Modified: February 28, 2014 5:11pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announces that 31 year-old Andre Sumpter of 2014 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga, pleaded guilty as charged just to Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
Sumpter’s convictions for Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree (a violent felony) are in connection with an incident that occurred on June 15, 2012. On that date, Sumpter led police on a high speed chase in a rental car before deserting the vehicle and fleeing on foot. Left behind were over 30 lbs. of marijuana and a loaded .38 caliber revolver. Sumpter remained at large for the next ten days but the lure of the marijuana trade proved too tempting to ignore.
Sumpter’s conviction for Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree is in connection with an incident that occurred on June 25, 2012. Sumpter was arrested in another rental car, this time in possession of 4.5 lbs. of marijuana and $2,300 in cash.
Sumpter was indicted and arraigned on the foregoing felonies, with a $100,000 bail being set by the court. Sumpter, a drug-dealing, gun-toting, twice convicted felon (more on that later) was, shockingly, able to post bail. Nearly as shocking was the fact the defendant continued to deal marijuana.
On February 2, 2013, Sumpter was arrested for and charged with Criminal Possession Marijuana in the Fifth Degree. On that date, Sumpter was found in possession of a half-ounce of marijuana and $3,900 in currency. Sumpter was continued on bail after this arrest and was again set free to ply his trade.
On February 12, 2013, Sumpter was again arrested for and charged with Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fourth Degree. On that date, Buffalo Police officers executed a search warrant at 160 Courtland in the City of Buffalo. That address was being used by Sumpter as drug house, complete with a surveillance system, barricaded doors, and a pit bull. Sumpter used the mail slot as a delivery system for customers. Sumpter was in possession of 710 bags of marijuana and $1,245 in currency.
Four times being an apparent charm, the defendant’s bail was revoked and he was remanded to the custody of the Erie County Sheriff pending trial. The first trial took place before Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hannah and Sumpter was convicted as charged of possessing of 710 bags of marijuana on February 12, 2013. Thereafter, Sumpter pleaded guilty to all the charges remaining against him.
In addition to his multiple drug convictions, this is Sumpter’s the third conviction for the illegal possession of a handgun; the first one occurred in 2003 in Erie County Court, while the second occurred in 2005 in Federal Court.
The four most recent cases were successfully prosecuted by ADA Michael Felicetta, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Unit. DA Sedita also commended the dogged efforts of the Buffalo Police, including those of Officer James O’Donnell Jr. and Detective Jason Mayhook.
Sumpter will be sentenced as a Second Violent Felony Offender on March 6, 2014 before The Hon. Thomas P. Franczyk. He faces a minimum term of seven years and a maximum term of nineteen and one-half years in state prison.