No Rest in the Fight Against Gun Toting Thugs

Modified: October 24, 2014 9:16am

9/23/2014

In the seemingly endless battle against illegal handgun possession, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that three more defendants have pleaded guilty, as charged, to carrying loaded and unlicensed firearms. These are the highest charges for which the defendants could have been convicted had they gone to trial. In other words, no one received a so-called “plea bargain” and everyone was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

18 year-old Daitwon Lee of 230 Hagen 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 Thomas P. Franczyk. On April 15, 2014, the New York State Police stopped a vehicle in which the defendant was a passenger. The Troopers found a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a cigarette pack containing another 28 rounds of live ammunition from the area in which Lee was seated. Further investigation revealed that another occupant of the vehicle, Lamar Haslam, Jr., had stolen the gun (an offense to which Lee pleaded guilty as charged) and sold it to Lee. Lee faces a minimum of 3½ years and a maximum of maximum of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by Judge Franczyk on November 25, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

Lee was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Danielle Soluri, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trials Bureau. 

19 year-old Jeremy John of 171 Austin St. in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Acting State Supreme Court Judge Russell P. Buscaglia. On June 29, 2014, after being chased by Buffalo Police officers, the defendant was found in possession of a loaded and unlicensed Raven Arms Model P-25 loaded pistol. John faces a minimum of 3½ years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by Justice Buscaglia on November 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM. 

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

32 year-old William Miles of 187 Smith Street in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Acting State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller. Miles was the passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by Buffalo Police officers on March 13, 2014. John’s frantic efforts to hide contraband were foiled when the officers recovered an unlicensed and loaded revolver, as well as marijuana and cocaine, under the passenger seat. Subsequent DNA analysis contradicted defendant’s claim that gun belonged to the vehicle’s driver. Instead, the analysis excluded the driver and revealed that defendant was the source of the DNA on the weapon. Miles faces a minimum of 3½ years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by a maximum prison term of 15 years when he is sentenced before Justice Boller on October 17, 2014.

Miles was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Seth Molisani, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.

DA Sedita stated the following:

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (CPW 2nd) is a jail mandatory offense under New York law. Aggressively prosecuting those who carry loaded and unlicensed handguns in our community prevents the commission of gun-related homicides and other violent crimes. Accordingly, this office has adopted a no plea policy when it comes to the crime of CPW 2nd when that crime is supported by sufficient and admissible proof. This means that except in very limited circumstances, the defendant will not be offered a reduced plea or so-called plea bargain in a viable CPW 2nd case.

Since 2013, the Office of the Erie County District Attorney has prosecuted 229 CPW 2nd cases. 224 of these 229 cases ended with a conviction. Specifically, five (5) resulted in a dismissal or acquittal; twenty-one (21) resulted in a so-called “plea bargain” or plea to a lesser charge; twenty-six (26) resulted in a trial conviction; and, 177 resulted in a plea of guilty to the charge. Unless the defendant was adjudicated a “youthful offender” by the court, every one of these convictions resulted in a minimum of 3½ years in a state prison.