Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Mayor Byron W. Brown announced Wednesday that Buffalo police have arrested an individual in connection with a gun trafficking operation that stretched from the Decatur, Georgia area to Buffalo, New York.
According to a news release:
Buffalo police, working with State police (CNET) and the ATF, arrested 23 year old Kareem “Decatur” Howard of Buffalo and charged him on multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal sale of a firearm. Police say Howard also faces possible federal charges.
Mayor Brown said, “There’s nothing more dangerous than illegal guns on our streets. Removing this individual and these guns should continue to send a strong message to those involved in this type of illegal activity. I want to thank the State police and the ATF for their invaluable assistance in this operation. And I want to let the public know that we remain vigilant when it comes to getting dangerous weapons off the street.”
So far this year, Buffalo police have seized 325 guns.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said the department began the investigation approximately six months ago after police received intelligence that the defendant was allegedly trafficking illegal guns in the area. Commissioner Derenda said Buffalo police then set up an undercover operation where authorities allegedly purchased the guns from the defendant, starting with the first “buy” on March 22nd.
On that day, authorities allegedly purchased a .9mm handgun for $800.00. Between March 22nd and June 1st, authorities allegedly bought 8 more illegal handguns from the defendant.
In each case, the “buys” were made in a parking lot on Blum Street in the city.
Commissioner Derenda said, “With the resources provided by the mayor and working closely with other agencies like the State police and ATF, we continue to aggressively go after gun traffickers and illegal guns. Like we’ve said in the past, getting just one gun off the streets can make a difference. And in this case, we removed 9.”
"This investigation, into an individual bringing illegal handguns to Buffalo from Niagara County and the State of Georgia, is a tremendous example of the relationship that exists between the State Police, Buffalo Police, and our Federal Law enforcement partners,” said New York State Police Lt. Martin McKee. “This case, like so many others, demonstrates our commitment to work collaboratively as we attempt protect all communities in the state of New York."
Since January 1st, 2006, the city and Buffalo police have collected and seized over 8,700 guns through police operations, the Gun Buy Back program and other initiatives.