Defendant Found in Possession of Illegal Gun During Execution of Search Warrant Sentenced

Modified: August 11, 2022 1:04pm

8/11/2022

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 42-year-old Cesarae Thomas of Buffalo received an indeterminate sentence of 3 ½ to 7 years in prison. The defendant, who is a second felony offender, received the maximum sentence this morning before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.

On May 18, 2020, at approximately 10:41 a.m., Buffalo Police executed a search warrant at a residence on the 2000 block of Niagara Street. During the execution of the warrant, investigators encountered the defendant outside of the home. A loaded, illegal gun was found 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.

His co-defendant who was the subject of the search warrant, 21-year-old Pablo E. Alicea of Buffalo, 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

As investigators entered Alicea’s residence, the defendant jumped out of a first-floor window and encountered a member of the Buffalo Police SWAT Team outside of the home. Alicea 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 of the residence.

On May 13, 2022, Judge DiTullio sentenced Alicea to a determinate sentence of 18 years in prison followed by 5 years of post-release supervision.  

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

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