Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced Friday that a federal grand jury in Buffalo has returned a 28-count Indictment charging a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as well as other offenses, against a group of six men accused of committing numerous acts of violence and narcotics trafficking on the East Side of Buffalo.
All six of these defendants face life in prison.
According to a news release:
Assistant United States Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that the Indictment charges Johnny Rounds, Donald Rounds, Ricky Procter, Lorenzo Hunt, Demario Stewart and Broderick Robinson, all of Buffalo, New York, with RICO, RICO Conspiracy, Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and firearm offenses. The Indictment includes charges relating to the murders of three people, and the attempted murders of several others, namely:
* The July 10, 2009, murder of Brandon Haugabook, on the corner of Paderewski and Townsend Streets, Buffalo, New York;
* The August 12, 2009, murder of Larry Crosland, on William Street, Buffalo, New York;
* The August 13, 2009, murder of Shawn Kozma, on Reed Street, Buffalo, New York;.
* Several attempted murders and shootings of rival gang members.
In addition to utilizing the federal racketeering laws to prosecute the various violent crimes identified, the Indictment also utilizes another federal statute known as the "Drug Kingpin" law, or Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute. This offense alleges that Johnny Rounds acted as the leader of five or more people to engage in a continuing series of narcotics trafficking offenses. The sales are alleged to have occurred in and around the Reed and Detroit Streets of Buffalo. As alleged in the Indictment, these individuals used violence and intimidation to protect this drug distribution enterprise from others, including rival gangs.
"Today's Indictment marks the second occasion in one week where our Office has utilized federal statutes to combat violent gangs operating in Buffalo," said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. "Along with our Indictment last week of a gang operating on the West Side of Buffalo (the 7th Street gang), today's Indictment - which focuses on a gang operating on Buffalo's East Side - should send a powerful message that regardless of where violence occurs, our law enforcement partners remain committed to identifying and prosecuting those who would hurt the
residents of this community."