Prosecuting Gun-Toting Thugs Starts the New Year off with a Bang

Modified: March 27, 2015 3:43pm

1/16/2015

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III announces that 24 year-old Jermaine Habeeb of 264 Stevens St. in the City of Buffalo has been found guilty after a jury trial before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns of two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Bail Jumping in the Second Degree. Habeeb was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and convicted of the highest charges lodged against him. The charges are based upon two separate incidents in which Habeeb possessed an illegal loaded gun in Buffalo.

On November 14, 2012, Habeeb fled from the police and attempted to throw away an unlicensed .40 caliber pistol, loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, after a routine traffic stop by Buffalo Police Officers John Beyer and Kelvin Sharpe on Stevens Street in the City of Buffalo. Despite the fact that he illegally possessed a handgun and that he ran away from the police, the court released the defendant on bail.

Shockingly, Habeeb again fled from the police and again was found in possession of a loaded handgun. On March 24, 2013, Habeeb bolted like startled gazelle when Buffalo Police Officer Sheryl Sanchez attempted to question him. He was finally apprehended by Officers Timothy Perrott and Kevin Quinn after an extensive chase. This time, Habeeb had a 9mm pistol loaded not with 10 but with 17 rounds of ammunition. Once again, he was released on bail by the court.

In another development which could not have possibly been expected, the twice fleeing gun-toting Habeeb, who now faced a significant amount of state prison time, fled the jurisdiction. Habeeb was eventually located hiding in Texas and extradited back to New York. Three times running away apparently being the charm, Habeeb was remanded into custody.

Habeeb faces a maximum prison term of 34 years when sentenced by Justice Burns on February 19, 2015. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Paul Glascott and Alicia Lilley, both of whom are assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.

DA Sedita also announces the following gun possession convictions, all of which should result in state prison sentences.

18 year-old Rallands Jones of 121 Thatcher Place in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case. These are the highest charges for which Jones could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Jones did not receive a “plea bargain” and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

On September 13, 2014 Jones was arrested by Buffalo Police Officers Michael Acquino and Mark Hamilton and found in possession of an unlicensed and .38 caliber handgun. Hard as it might be to believe, Jones was released on bail and, shockingly, was arrested less than two months later with another loaded handgun. Specifically, on November 12, 2014, Buffalo Police Officer Paul Fitzpartick observed Jones throw a loaded .45 caliber handgun onto the roof of 3202 Bailey Avenue. After being aided by the Buffalo Fire Department, the weapon was recovered from the roof. 

Jones faces a maximum prison term of 30 years when he is sentenced before Judge Case on February 17, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Nathaniel Kapperman who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial bureau. 

18 year-old Daniel Calhoun of 187 Shirley Avenue, Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Firearm before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case. This is the highest charge for which Calhoun could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Calhoun did not receive a “plea bargain” and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

On June 7, 2014, Buffalo Police Officer Mark Hamilton observed Calhoun hiding an illegal handgun on the porch of his home. Officer Hamilton, assisted by other officers, recovered the gun and placed Calhoun under arrest. Naturally, Calhoun lied through his teeth, initially insisting that the gun was not his and that he did not hide it on the porch, despite Officer Hamilton’s observations to the contrary.

Calhoun faces a maximum of 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison when he is sentenced before Judge Case on April 14, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Williams, III, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.

25 year-old Robert Green of 579 North Oak Street, Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia. This is the highest charge for which Green could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Green did not receive a “plea bargain” and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

On March 3, 2014, Green was a passenger in a taxicab that was pulled over for a headlight violation by Cheektowaga Police Officer Kevin Matusiak. Officer Matusiak approached the cab and smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the passenger compartment. When Officer Matusiak removed Green from the cab to search him, he fled and threw away the disassembled pieces of an illegal handgun. Officer Matusiak and other Cheektowaga police officers recovered the pieces of the gun and reassembled it. Defendant also had a bag of marijuana and 2 marijuana cigarettes in his pocket. Apparently unaware of the adage, “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” Green was previously convicted of illegal gun possession in 2007, for which he served 3½ years in state prison.

Green faces a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced before Justice Buscaglia on February 20, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.  The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Williams, III, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau. 

20 year-old Phillip Washington, a/k/a “Tank” of Davey Street in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.  This is the highest charge for which Washington could have been convicted had he gone to trial.  In other words, Washington did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  The plea took place minutes before jury selection was scheduled to begin.

Washington fired his gun at an unarmed man on November 18, 2013 on LaSalle Avenue in the City of Buffalo.  Also firing at the unknown man was Derrick Roseboro and Troy Berry, each of whom pleaded guilty as charged and are serving 6-year sentences in state prison.  The intended victim (despite being shot at by three men with three guns) was unharmed and fled before being identified. The apparent motive for the shooting was retaliatory and in response to the shooting of Erick Roseboro (the brother of co-defendant Derrick Roseboro) who suffered a leg injury after being struck by a bullet at Ying’s restaurant in the Town of Tonawanda. That investigation remains open.

Washington faces up to 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 31, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. by Justice Burns for his role in the shooting. The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney and Felony Trial Bureau Chief Michael P. Felicetta, and Assistant District Attorney James W. Mansour II, who is also assigned to the Felony Trial Bureau.