Modified: March 22, 2016 2:51pm
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 22-year old John Simmons of 14th Street in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty, as charged, to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. This is the highest charge for which Simmons could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
On May 18, 2015, the defendant was observed by law enforcement riding on the handlebars of a bicycle in the middle of Normal Avenue in the City of Buffalo. As the officers approached to issue the appropriate traffic ticket, the defendant jumped off the bicycle and fled down an alleyway, where he discarded a loaded semi-automatic pistol before he was apprehended. Despite denying knowledge or possession of the handgun, subsequent forensic testing confirmed that the defendant's DNA was present on the recovered weapon.
A prior violent felon whose previous conviction also involved illegal possession of a firearm, Simmons faces a minimum of seven (7) years and a maximum of fifteen (15) years in state prison when he is sentenced on April 21, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. before Justice Burns.
Acting DA Flaherty commends Buffalo Police Department Strike Force Officers Michael Acquino and Darren McDuffie for their investigative work.
Assistant District Attorney Michael D. Smith prosecuted the case.