Two Gun Toting Thugs and one Nitwit off to Prison as a Result of Excellent Police Work and the District Attorney’s No Plea Bargain Policy

Modified: April 27, 2015 9:32am

3/24/2015

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces the convictions of the following defendants for illegal possession of a loaded and unlicensed handgun. All of the defendants face mandatory state prison sentences.

33 year-old Darius Spates of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.  This was the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted. In other words, Spates did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

On December 30, 2014, Spates got into a verbal argument with a convenience store clerk on Kensington Avenue in the City of Buffalo.  After the argument Spates retrieved a loaded pistol from his vehicle and flashed it at the clerk.  The clerk immediately called 911 and Buffalo Police Officers apprehended the defendant within minutes.  Police recovered the loaded gun from the defendant’s vehicle. No stranger to illegal handguns, this is Spates’ second such conviction, which makes him a second violent felony offender. Spates faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on April 28, 2015.   

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Patrick Feroleto, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Unit. 

28year-old David Fox of Cheektowaga pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree before Senior Erie

County Court Judge Michael L. D’Amico.  This is the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial.  In other words, Fox did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law

On November 5, 2014 members of the Buffalo Police Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at a residence on Regent Street in the city.  A loaded semi-automatic rifle, along with small amounts of cocaine, heroin and marihuana, were located inside the residence.  Fox was taken into custody without incident and admitted to officers that everything found in the residence belonged to him.  No stranger to “the trade,” Fox has a prior felony narcotics conviction, which makes him a second felony offender. Fox faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on April 28, 2015.

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mara L. McCabe who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Felony Trial Bureau.

19 year-old Nathan Friend-Green of 620 Clarendon Avenue in Canton, Ohio pleaded guilty as charged to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree before Senior Erie County Court Judge Michael L. D’Amico.  This was the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted. In other words, Friend-Green did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

On January 4, 2015, Friend-Green and two friends were kicked out of a Buffalo bar after starting a fight.  On their way back to the Lackawanna apartment where they were spending the night, Friend-Green’s friends began to fight each other.  Friend-Green pulled out a loaded pistol in an effort to break up the fight. Instead of shooting the gun into the air -- as was his master plan -- the defendant in his inebriated state pointed the barrel downward instead of upward. Shockingly, the ensuing gunshots struck both of the soused combatants.

To Friend-Green’s credit, the shooting interrupted the fisticuffs. Everyone piled into a car, Friend-Green was dropped-off at the apartment, and the two wounded belligerents drove themselves to the hospital.  The hospital contacted the police. Naturally, both of Friend-Green’s friends refused to cooperate when questioned. Luckily, however, officers went to the Lackawanna apartment and found Friend-Green sleeping there, with the gun by his bedside.

Friend-Green faces a maximum of 15 years when he is sentenced on April 13, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John P. Gerken, Jr. who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Tactical Prosecution Unit.