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Home invasion robbery gone wrong leads to murder

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 16:09:43-05

A Buffalo man has been sentenced to 20 years on a gun charge involving a homicide.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy says Jose Ramirez-Merced, 31, was convicted of discharging a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, causing a death.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Duszkiewicz and joel Violanti, Merced, co-defendant Alexander Duarte and other sold heroin on the West Side of Buffalo in 2012. The group planned a home invasion robbery targeting Jose Rivera's residence, but invaded the wrong home, according to the assistant attorneys. They reportedly ended up stealing cocaine and cash.

Officials say Rivera began making threats against individuals in the group as a result of the attempted robbery, going so far as trying to kill one known as L.B. Reports say the group responded by murdering Rivera.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Merced and Duarte went to Rivera's home on July 31, 2012 and opened fire, killing Rivera and wounding a woman.

Officials say Duarte has also been convicted and will be sentenced on January 12, 2017.