Buffalo Man to Serve 18 Years in Prison for Firing Shot at Police Officer During Execution of Search Warrant

Modified: May 13, 2022 9:46am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 21-year-old Pablo E. Alicea of Buffalo was sentenced yesterday afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to a determinate sentence of 18 years in prison followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.  

On May 18, 2020, at approximately 10:41 a.m., Buffalo Police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on the 2000 block of Niagara Street. As investigators entered the home, the defendant jumped out of a first-floor window and encountered a member of the Buffalo Police SWAT Team outside. The defendant fired a shot at the officer with an illegal gun and the officer returned fire. No one was injured during the incident. The defendant was apprehended after a brief chase. A quantity of cocaine was found inside the home.

Alicea pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (Class “B” violent felony), one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony), and one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (Class “B” felony) on February 28, 2022

His co-defendant, 42-year-old Cesarae Thomas of Buffalo, was also arrested outside of the home during the execution of the search warrant. When officers encountered him, the defendant had a loaded, illegal gun on his person. Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony) before Judge DiTullio on January 27, 2022.

Thomas faces an indeterminate sentence of 3 ½ to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced as a second felony offender on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. He remains released on $75,000 bail previously posted in Buffalo City Court.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Intelligence Unit and SWAT Team for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca L. Schnirel of the Major Crimes Unit and Chief John P. Gerken, Jr. of the Narcotics/Intelligence Unit.