Grand Jury Hands Down Indictments in Numerous Illegal Gun Possession Cases

Modified: April 15, 2021 2:54pm

4/15/2021

District Attorney John Flynn announces that more than a dozen defendants have been arraigned over the past several weeks in Erie County Superior Courts after being indicted by a Grand Jury on a felony gun charge. All defendants are accused of knowingly possessing an illegal firearm. Many of the weapons recovered were found to be loaded and operable.

Lamar L. Keys, 24, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

It is alleged that on October 25, 2020, at approximately 11:39 p.m., two people called 911 to report shots fired on Block Street in the City of Buffalo. Officers responded to the scene and located a vehicle that allegedly matched the description of the suspect vehicle provided by the complainant. The officers allegedly recovered an illegal pistol from the rear floor of the vehicle near where the defendant was seated.

Keys is scheduled to return on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. for a pre-trial hearing. At the request of the prosecutor, Judge DiTullio remanded the defendant without bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas C. Bussi of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Shyheim C. Rodriguez, 26, of Buffalo was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree (both Class “C” felonies) on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

It is alleged that on February 27, 2020, at approximately 10:16 p.m., Buffalo Police officers on routine patrol saw a van on Holden Street, swerving and failing to stay in its lane. The officers initiated a traffic stop near Chalmers Avenue. Both officers allegedly smelled the odor of marijuana, which prompted a search of the vehicle. Two loaded, illegal pistols were allegedly recovered.

The defendant is also accused of being in possession of a plastic bag containing more than 1/8 ounce of cocaine at the time of his arrest. The drugs were allegedly recovered from the defendant’s shoe while he was being processed at Central Booking.

The co-defendant, Marsellis L. Bryant, 27, of Cheektowaga, pleaded guilty last week to one count of Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony). He faces a maximum of 7 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 8, 2021 at 10:00 am. He was released under supervision.

Rodriguez, who is also charged with attempted murder in an unrelated case, remains held on $25,000 bail (cash/bond or $250,000 partially secured bond). A return date has not been scheduled at this time.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ryan M. Flaherty of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Garrett Williams, 28, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

It is alleged that on May 16, 2020, at approximately 3:11 a.m., Buffalo Police received a report of shots fired on the 100 block of Stanislaus Street. Two different 911 callers provided a description of the suspect vehicle that hit a parked car while fleeing the area after the reported shooting. It is alleged that at approximately 3:25 a.m., a patrol officer observed a damaged vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle on Langfield Drive and Suffolk Street. The officer initiated a traffic stop and allegedly smelled the odor of marijuana as he approached the vehicle. Upon searching the vehicle, the officers allegedly recovered a loaded, illegal pistol from the rear passenger seat where the defendant was seated.

Williams is scheduled to return on Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns. He remains released on $50,000 bail previously posted in Buffalo City Court.

The case is also being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ryan M. Flaherty of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Gregory Tyler, 33, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on an indictment charging him with one count of Robbery in the First Degree (Class “B” violent felony) and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony) on March 1, 2021.

It is alleged that on September 4, 2020, at approximately 4:00 p.m., the defendant robbed the victim at gunpoint. The defendant is accused of pointing the illegal weapon at the victim’s head while emptying her purse. The defendant allegedly stole the victim’s identification and credit cards then fled in her vehicle. The victim reported the crime to police.

The defendant is accused of committing the crime while on parole for a prior offense. The defendant’s parole officer allegedly saw the victim’s vehicle in the defendant’s driveway. During a search of the defendant’s home, parole officers allegedly found an illegal pistol hidden in a heating vent in the living room.

The case is scheduled to return on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. for a pre-trial conference. The defendant was remanded without bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Briana R. D. Miller of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Brandon Garner, 32, of Buffalo was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Tuesday, March 3, 2021.

It is alleged that on February 1, 2020, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Buffalo Police officers on routine patrol saw the defendant walking on Wohlers Avenue near Woodlawn Avenue with what appeared to be a black pistol in his hand. When the officers pulled over and asked the defendant to come to the car, he allegedly ran east on Woodlawn Avenue. As one of the officers ran after the defendant, he allegedly saw the defendant throw the gun. The defendant was apprehended and an illegal pistol was recovered nearby.

Garner is scheduled to return on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. for a motion argument. The defendant, who is currently on parole, remains held without bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sean B. Bunny of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Samuel Brown, 51, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

It is alleged that on August 22, 2020, the defendant threatened two female victims with an illegal gun at a home on Sidney Street in the City of Buffalo. One of the victims called 911 and the defendant allegedly ran from the scene. A short time later, responding police officers allegedly saw the defendant running on Fillmore Avenue. The defendant was apprehended and a loaded, illegal firearm was allegedly recovered from the defendant’s back pocket.

Brown is scheduled to return on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He remains held on $75,000 bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Andres D. Ortiz of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Devon R. Cottom (also known as Davon Cottom), 38, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony) and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (Class “A” misdemeanors) on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

It is alleged that on February 5, 2020, the defendant was arrested at the NFTA bus station on Ellicott Street on an active parole warrant. The defendant was allegedly found in possession of a loaded, illegal semi-automatic pistol as well as a small quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Friday, June 11, 2021 for motions. The defendant, who is currently on parole, remains held without bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca A. Fioravanti of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Maurice Brooks, 31, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

It is alleged that on January 17, 2020, Buffalo Police officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home on Longnecker Street. During the search, a loaded, illegal pistol was allegedly recovered from a bedroom closet. Two loaded, illegal pistols were also allegedly found in a linen closet.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Thursday, April 22, 2021 for a pre-trial conference. He remains released on $7,500 bail previously posted in Buffalo City Court.

The case is also being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca A. Fioravanti of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Roquan Williams, 21, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

It is alleged that on August 13, 2020, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Buffalo Police officers were investigating a report of shots fired when they allegedly saw the defendant remove a handgun from his bag and throw it in a yard on Hagen Street. The defendant was apprehended and a loaded, illegal pistol was allegedly recovered.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 9:15 a.m. Bail was set at $50,000 (cash, bond or partially secured bond).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rachel Kranitz McPhee of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Agin Richardson, 33, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony), one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony), one count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor), and one count of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree (Class “B” misdemeanor) on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

On August 31, 2020, parole officers conducted a routine search of the defendant’s North Street apartment and allegedly found a loaded, defaced firearm in a cabinet above the kitchen sink. Officers also allegedly found two digital scales on the kitchen counter as well as a small quantity of marijuana and cocaine.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 1:45 p.m. for a pre-trial conference. Bail was set at $50,000 (cash, bond or partially secured bond). The defendant remains held on a parole violation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas C. Bussi of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Jerimiah E. Jones, 21, of Cheektowaga was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

 

It is alleged that on July 19, 2020, at approximately 11:44 p.m., Buffalo Police officers responded to Genesee Street after receiving a 911 call from a corner store employee stating that a person attempted to sell an illegal gun to his brother. The officers located the defendant, who allegedly matched the description provided by the complainant, in a vehicle nearby in the vicinity of East Ferry and Schuele Street. A loaded, illegal firearm was allegedly recovered during a search of the vehicle.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. Judge Case set bail at $30,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Meredith M. Mohun of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Johnny Santiago, 28, of Buffalo was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on March 25, 2021.

It is alleged that on October 23, 2020, at approximately 2:23 p.m., the defendant hit a parked vehicle while driving on Busti Avenue in the City of Buffalo. When police responded to the crash, they allegedly saw a gun in plain view in the back of the defendant’s vehicle. Officers recovered the firearm, which was found to be loaded, operable and illegal.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. He remains held on $25,000 bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Samantha N. King of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

Mario K. Washington, Jr., 22, of Buffalo was arraigned before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree on March 29, 2021.

It is alleged that on February 24, 2020, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home on Chelsea Place in the City of Buffalo. Inside the home, investigators found a loaded, illegal firearm inside a bag in the basement.

The defendant, who has also been indicted on a murder charge in a separate case, is scheduled to return on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 2:45 p.m. for a pre-trial conference. He continues to remain held without bail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew S. Szalkowski of the DA’s Tactical Prosecution Unit.

Benathan Cook, Jr., 41, of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony).

It is alleged that on June 28, 2019, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Buffalo Police officers were responding to a report of shots fired on Carl Street when they saw an object being thrown from the porch of one home onto the porch of another home. The officers allegedly found the defendant hiding behind a porch barrister and recovered an illegal, unloaded pistol from the porch of the neighboring home. Officers also allegedly found several shell casings on the ground between the two houses.

The defendant is scheduled to return on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He remains released on $35,000 bail previously posted in Buffalo City Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John G. Schoemick of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.

“Since last year, there has been an alarming spike in the number of fatal and non-fatal shootings that have occurred in the City of Buffalo. In addition to identifying and prosecuting those criminals, I am committed to preventing gun violence in our community. We need to get these deadly weapons and the people to who use them to commit violent crimes off of our streets. I want the residents of Erie County to know that anyone found in possession of an illegal firearm will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

A person convicted of one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends members of the Buffalo Police Department and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for their work in these investigations.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.