BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The head of a police re-organization commission faces federal drug charges after a raid in Buffalo.
Ricky Allen, Sr. was arrested Thursday at his home on Roosevelt Avenue in Buffalo. The government alleges that the home was maintained to manufacture and distribute cocaine. Last year, Allen was appointed interim chairman of a Buffalo Common Council created commission, studying police re-organization.
The investigation targeted the Afro Dogs motorcycle club on Genesee Street in Buffalo, of which Allen was a member. The arrest has some people asked, who are the Afro Dogs?
Many years ago, we interviewed Ricky Allen as Vice president of Afro Dogs as the bikers served a holiday meal for the community.
In 1997, Allen said, "It gives you a warm sense of feeling during the holiday season that you can give a little bit back to your community."
Masten District councilmember Demone Smith said, "He always seemed to be a stand-up guy. I never would have thought him being involved in activities he's being charged with. He's an engineer, worked his own business, advocate for Roosevelt Park. He was trying to do a mentoring group for young engineers."
But Thursday morning he was arrested at his Roosevelt Avenue Home on federal drug charges. Also arrested as part of the same investigation was 51-year-old John Smith, listed as the president of the Afro Dogs. Smith was arrested three years ago after police found 300 pounds of pot at the clubhouse. His charges were later dropped in that case. In 1997, a man was stabbed to death inside an Afro Dogs clubhouse.
Common Council president David Franczyk said, "Maybe they're using a, well, Al Capone used to do that. He used to be involved in all this illegal, crooked activity and then give money away to poor people and food to families and candy to kids and everything else. So maybe it was a front, I don't know."
Smith said, "Back in the day, growing up, they used to do back-to-school giveaways, a lot of the community cleanups and things like that. And so, I just hope the activities of a few is not representative of the club as a whole."
Law enforcers say they actually made undercover purchases of cocaine in the Afro Dogs clubhouse. And of the 12 men arrested Thursday, six of them are Afro Dogs members, including the president, vice president, and treasurer.
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