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Safe Act and Long Arm of the Law Catch Up with Absconding Mushroom Dealer


07/31/2014

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 37 year-old Robert L. Wilson, III, of Hammerschmidt Avenue in the City of Buffalo, pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, arising from a violation of the SAFE ACT, as well as Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and Bail Jumping in the Second Degree, before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.  These are the highest charges for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial.  In other words, Wilson did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

On April 21, 2013, narcotics detectives from the Buffalo Police Department executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Hammerschmidt Avenue apartment. The police recovered psychedelic mushrooms in various stages of growth, chocolate bars containing psychedelic mushrooms, and several mason jars containing mushroom spores. The police also seized a loaded semi-automatic rifle, which qualified as an assault weapon prohibited by the SAFE Act, as well as three detachable ammunition magazines. Wilson denied the assault rifle and ammunition were his, despite the fact they were found in his bedroom.

Despite three prior felony convictions, as well as being caught with an illegal assault weapon and enough mushrooms to get a herd of elephants baked, Wilson was continued on bail. Shockingly, Wilson failed to show up for court and fled the jurisdiction. A warrant was issued for his arrest and, after spending nearly five months looking for him, Wilson was arrested in, and extradited from, Indiana. The District Attorney was not amused and promptly secured another indictment, this time charging Wilson with Bail Jumping.    

Wilson is remanded into custody and faces a maximum of 23 years in state prison when he is sentenced before Judge DiTullio on August 28, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Lauren Nash and Michael Smith, both of whom are assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.