Teen Sentenced in Two Separate Cases for Possession of Illegal Guns and Filing False Insurance Claim After Vandalizing His Own Vehicle

Modified: November 1, 2021 2:09pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that a 19-year-old male from Buffalo was adjudicated as a youthful offender when he was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case. The youthful offender was sentenced to an indeterminate period of incarceration of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

The youthful offender pleaded guilty to three felony charges in two separate criminal cases on September 3, 2021. He pleaded guilty to the highest sustainable charges in both cases against him.

On October 24, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Buffalo Police officers observed the youthful offender exit a vehicle that he left unattended with the engine running outside of a home on Erskine Avenue. The youthful offender returned to the vehicle and drove on Erskine Avenue when he was stopped by Buffalo Police near Suffolk Street. During the traffic stop, the officers found that the youthful offender was driving without a license. He was also found in possession of two loaded, illegal firearms that were on his person. 

The youthful offender pleaded guilty to two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felonies).

During the early morning hours of October 15, 2020, the youthful offender intentionally spray painted racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti onto his SUV that was parked on Saranac Avenue in the City of Buffalo. The youthful offender also poured a substance, believed to be sugar, into the gas tank of the vehicle with the intent to cause damage. After vandalizing his own vehicle, the youthful offender intentionally filed a false claim with his car insurance provider.

The youthful offender pleaded guilty to one count of Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony).  

DA Flynn commends Detective Robert Larusch and Detective Sgt. Christopher Mordino of the Buffalo Police Department for their work on investigating the vandalism case. Flynn also commends Lieutenant Jonathan Pietrzak and Detective Joseph Paszkiewicz for their work on the gun case and for their assistance in the search for the youthful offender while he evaded apprehension.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas C. Bussi of the Felony Trials Bureau and Chief Danielle N. D’Abate of the Community Prosecution and Training Bureau.