BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two Buffalo residents have pleaded guilty for their roles in a narcotics conspiracy that resulted in a triple homicide in 2019, police said.
49-year-old Jariel Cobb of Buffalo pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct justice, use of fire to commit a felony and conspiracy to damage and destroy a vehicle used in interstate commerce by fire. His co-defendant, 39-year-old James Reed of Buffalo, also pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct justice and use of fire to commit a felony.
Assistant Attorney Brendan Cullinane stated that beginning in 2014, Cobb, Reed and others began a narcotics ring selling marijuana, heroin and cocaine. On September 15, 2019, Cobb arranged a purchase for cocaine from Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon and Dhamyl Roman-Audiffred, who were his sources of supply. Roman-Audiffred entered a residence on Roebling Ave., where she was hit in the head by a blunt object. The co-defendant then went outside and shot and killed both Valentin-Colon and his wife, Nicole Marie Merced-Plaud.
Within the next 24 hours, Cobb and another co-defendant destroyed the three bodies as well as the car by lighting them on fire, while leaving Valentin-Colon and Merced-Plaud’s minor son on a stranger’s porch on Potomac Ave.
In addition, co-defendant Deshama Clark pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of marijuana and faces up to one year in prison.
Cobb faces 25 years to life in prison with a $20 million fine, while Reed faces 15 years to life in prison and a $20,000 fine. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.