Modified: June 27, 2022 12:58pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 29-year-old Joshua Gotthart of Buffalo was arraigned on Friday afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case on an indictment charging him with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felonies) and one count of Unlawful Wearing of a Body Vest (Class “E” felony).
The defendant was the subject of an investigation by the Buffalo Police Department Intelligence Unit. It is alleged that on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at approximately 8:54 a.m., investigators observed the defendant, who was the subject of a search warrant, leave his residence on Wright Avenue in the City of Buffalo and drive away in a vehicle. A traffic stop was initiated nearby where the defendant was taken into custody without incident. Investigators allegedly found an illegal, loaded handgun, considered a “ghost gun,” in a holster on the defendant’s right hip. The defendant, who is accused of committing a felony offense by being in possession of the illegal firearm, was allegedly wearing a bullet-resistant body vest at the time of his arrest.
Buffalo Police Intelligence Unit detectives executed the search warrant at the defendant’s residence where they allegedly recovered three unregistered handguns inside of a bedroom. Investigators also allegedly found 17 long rifles, 8 shotguns and magazines as well as gun-making tools and a large amount of ammunition in various locations inside of the house. One of the long rifles was found partially disassembled, but fit the definition of an assault weapon once reassembled.
Gotthart is scheduled to return on Monday, July 11, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. for a pre-trial conference. He remains held on bail set at $150,000 cash, bond or partially secured bond.
If convicted of all charges, Gotthart faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Intelligence Unit for their work in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy J. Garvin of the Narcotics/Intelligence Unit.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.