BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - More than a dozen people are in federal custody, following a series of raids around Buffalo. The FBI's Safe Streets Task Force raided several locations in the Perry Housing Projects and the Fruit Belt area Wednesday, because of alleged drug trafficking. The task force's goal is to take down dangerous street gangs and drug-related violence.
Officials say gang members arrested at the Perry Street Buffalo Municipal Housing ruled with fear. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "They had almost taken over control of this development, creating an environment where people were scared to speak out, people were fearful and where people felt like they had no choice but to tolerate some of the criminal activity that was taking place."
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said, "Narcotics is a big source of revenue for gangs, gang members. They do everything from robberies, assaults, homicides, extortions, we got more violent people off the streets today."
The US Attorney's Office says 12 people are charged with conspiracy to traffic 280 grams or more of cocaine base and 500 grams or more of cocaine within the Perry Housing Projects.
The US Attorney's Office says they executed 11 search warrants Wednesday morning and arrested: Tyshawn Bradley, 27, and Nannette Brown, 44, both of Cheektowaga, N.Y., Darnell Brown, a/k/a D, 28, Dallas McLamore, a/k/a Ice, a/k/a Dal, 28, Eric Ross, 23, Brandon Atkins, a/k/a YB, 26, Tashawn Gay, 22, Melvin Tucker, a/k/a Hoff, 23, David Varner, 54, Latifah Donaldson, a/k/a LaLa, 21, Tara Robinson, a/k/a Coek, 23 and Phayon Redmond, a/k/a Booper, 27, all of Buffalo. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a fine of $10,000,000, or both.
The US Attorney handling the Perry Projects case says they focused their investigation on drug trafficking activities of Bradley, Brown, McLamore and their associates. According to the indictment, they operated a drug organization on a daily basis out of several apartments on Fulton Street and Perry Street. They allegedly used a juvenile to distribute cocaine base to customers on the grounds of the facility.
The US Attorney's Office says police used court-ordered wire interceptions, undercover drug purchases, covert cameras and traditional police investigative techniques to infiltrate and dismantle this organization.
A grand jury has also returned three indictments charging people with cocaine base distribution in the Fruit Belt area. The US Attorney's Office says 26-year-old Dimone Thomas aka Pony, 33-year-old Shariff Johnson aka Ahmad Johnson and 24-year-old Rudell Jackson aka Rudy were all all accused of cocaine base distribute, on a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison. The Fruit Belt area indictments charge narcotics trafficking in the area of the new Medical Campus.
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