BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The interim chairman of a Buffalo Police re-organization commission is in big trouble with the law. Ricky Allen, Sr. was arrested in a federal cocaine sweep on Thursday, along with members of the Afro Dogs motorcycle club.
Allen is facing federal drug charges. He was arrested at his home on Roosevelt Avenue in Buffalo on Thursday. Allen is the interim chairman of a Buffalo Common Council created commission, studying police re-organization.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, "He's a despicable human being. A drug dealer who masquerades as a community activist."
Common Council president David Franczyk said, "Well this guy was obviously hiding in plain sight, and talk about bold. It's unbelievable."
Allen is one of about a dozen people charged in connection with a federal investigation targeting members and associates of the Afro Dogs motorcycle club on Genesee Street in Buffalo.
University councilmember Bonnie Russell appointed Allen to the commission last year.
"Shocked, stunned, appalled after finding out something of this magnitude with him because he was apparently reputable to many community people," said Russell.
The government alleges that Allen tipped off John Smith, who's also charged in the case, about a pending narcotics case after learning that something big was going to happen at one of the commission meetings.
"That he took it upon himself to go further, and he found out about the warrants in two days, the phases, 50 on each day, and he used information the way he shouldn't have," said Derenda.
Allen was arrested at his home on Roosevelt Avenue. The government alleges that the home was maintained to manufacture and distribute cocaine. Council majority leader Rich Fontana thinks this should be a wake up call for a better vetting process of citizen appointments.
"Maybe some of these police commissions should go through the FBI for a little bit of clearance in the future. I think that's important. You hate to think that everyone needs a background check. But in today's day and age, maybe they do," said Fontana.
In 1997, the Afro Dogs set up a full holiday spread for the community and Ricky Allen talked to News 4 as vice-president of the club.
"It gives you a warm sense of feeling during the holiday season, that you can give a little bit back to your community," Allen said back then.
Another development in this case, the Buffalo PBA President confirms for News 4 that a Buffalo Police officer was suspended in connection with this federal drug investigation.
There is a hearing Thursday in Buffalo about the use of medical marijuana. So far 20 states and Washington D.C. allow it.
News 4 is looking to see if police and firefighters were called to the same house overnight, for different incidents. Firefighters were on Goodyear Avenue putting out a fire around 3 a.m. Thursday.
Reverend Roy Harriger returned to court Wednesday night. The pastor is facing charges of molesting children.
Some of the members of his assembly refuse to believe the allegations against him. About eight members of the Community Fellowship …
In an effort to combat childhood obesity, a local school district is now banning a popular sweet treat.
This year, some local students are getting out their pens and paper to make sure other children have a happy holiday this year.
Crews will also be out dredging the Buffalo River on Thursday. They'll be in the city ship canal area.