Cheektowaga Man Convicted of Gun Charge
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jose Gonzalez, 37, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., was convicted of possession of a short-barrel shotgun following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. Gonzalez faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric M. Opanga and Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the prosecution of the case, the defendant was driving his girlfriend’s car, which she reported to police had been stolen. Gonzalez and co-defendant Luis Osorio were stopped by Buffalo Police on Carolina St. because officers who were following the vehicle believed the defendants were attempting to evade police. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers discovered a defaced short-barrel shotgun behind the driver seat.
The defendant was acquitted on a charge of possession of a defaced firearm. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and possession of an unregistered short-barrel shotgun.
Gonzalez and Osorio were arrested on December 14, 2011. Osorio is scheduled to go to trial on December 3, 2013.
The conviction is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Frank Christiano, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 5, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretnty.