Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced Monday that 29-year-old Ernest Green of Buffalo was arrested and charged with violating the Federal Hobbs Act, that is, a robbery affecting interstate commerce by means of force, violence and fear of injury.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati, who is handling the case, stated that Green is accused of robbing, and later shooting Jabril Harper in Roosevelt Park in Buffalo on December 16, 2009. According to the Complaint, the defendant and several accomplices allegedly took Harper at gunpoint from the Pine Harbor apartments area and eventually transported him to Roosevelt Park, where Green and another accomplice each shot Harper in the head, causing his death. The Complaint further alleges that the defendant stole jewelry, money and cocaine from Harper.
"Up until now, our office has utilized federal law to prosecute members of organized street gangs who commit acts of violence on the streets of our community," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "Today’s charge marks the first time in recent memory we have used those laws to prosecute persons who may not be part of a formal gang, but who engage in robbery and murder for profit. We will continue to assist our local law enforcement partners as we together work to reduce crime in Western New York."
Green had an initial appearance Monday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott. Green is being detained and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on March 19 before Judge Scott.