BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that 17 members and associates of the Schuele Boys Gang, a group which operated in the Schuele Street area of the East Side of Buffalo, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine. The defendants are also charged with unlawful use of a communication facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a fine of $10,000,000.
“At a time when the entire region is experiencing a rebirth of hope and positive change, there are those who would harm the community through narcotics trafficking and acts of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “As today’s operation demonstrates, law enforcement stands ready and able to identify and remove these threats to the public.”
Charged in the complaint are:
Antwan Garner, 29, Buffalo
Aaron Glenn, 41, North Tonawanda
Jerome Grant, 33, Buffalo
James Hicks, 44, Buffalo
Xavier Hill, 42, Buffalo
Demetrius Holmes, 23, Buffalo
Damario James, 32, Buffalo
Fred Johnson, 21, Buffalo
Ikeem Lyons, 21, Buffalo
Benjamin Peoples, 25, Buffalo
Damario Robbins, 23, Buffalo
Michael Robertson, 24, Buffalo
Spencer Rogers, 50, Buffalo
Antwon Steward, 31, Buffalo
Shawntorrian Travis, 34, Buffalo
Andre Wise, 36, Buffalo
Marcel Worthy, 30, Buffalo
Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Burgasser, who is handling the case, stated that according to a complaint, during the summer of 2010, the Schuele Boys Gang, including defendant Marcel Worthy who is the alleged leader of the gang, were the targets of a mass shooting at the City Grill in downtown Buffalo. During the shooting, eight people were shot, four fatally. At the time, law enforcement officers believed that Marcel Worthy was a kilogram quantity cocaine trafficker.
The ensuing investigation utilized wire and electronic communications, confidential sources, controlled purchases of narcotics, and physical and video surveillance, to identify conspirators associated with the Schuele Boys Gang distribution network. The complaint further states that in addition to buying and selling illegal narcotics, the defendants were also involved in committing acts of violence including shootings.
The members and associates are alleged to have attempted to thwart law detection by law enforcement officers through the frequent changing of cellular telephones. The defendants also are alleged to have used other counter-surveillance techniques, including utilizing and frequently changing rental vehicles, employing evasive driving techniques, and speaking in coded language.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force which includes representatives of the Amherst Police Department; the Buffalo Police Department; U.S. Border Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Cheektowaga Police Department; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department; the Hamburg Police Department; the Lancaster Police Department; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police; the New York State Department of Correctional Services; the New York State Police; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. Additional assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the United States Marshal Service, the Lackawanna Police Department, and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.