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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Former Afro Dogs President Convicted of Drug Conspiracy and Other Charges

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today Dewey Taylor, a/k/a Road Rash, 42, of Buffalo, N.Y., was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and structuring financial transactions following a five week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Taylor faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a $5,000,000 fine or both. 

            According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas S. Duszkiewicz and Eric M. Opanga, who handled the prosecution of the case, the defendant is the former president of the Afro Dogs Motorcycle Club in Buffalo. Between 2006 and March 2, 2011, the defendant supplied Afro Dogs National Vice-President John C. Smith, a/k/a Kazoo, with cocaine for distribution  to members and non-members throughout the Buffalo area. The evidence presented by the Government at trial included five months of wiretap conversations recorded on John Smith’s cellular phone. The Government also presented evidence of 14 undercover purchases of cocaine from Smith.

            John Smith was convicted of conspiracy  to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearms in relation to his drug trafficking in April 2013 and is awaiting sentencing.

            In addition to being found guilty of drug conspiracy, Taylor was also convicted of seven counts of structuring financial transactions to evade currency reporting requirements. On seven separate occasions, Taylor deposited funds into personal and business accounts in the name of DT Liquors at the Erie Metro Federal Credit Union. The individual deposits totaled more than $10,000 which requires the filing of a Currency Transaction Report with the Internal Revenue Service. But the defendant split the transactions into smaller amounts in an attempt to evade the reporting requirements.

            The jury was unable to reach a verdict as to defendant Dale Lockwood, who was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Further proceedings are scheduled for June 12, 2013 at which time a new trial date will be scheduled. Furthermore, defendants  William Szymanski, Anthony Burley, and Van Miller, were acquitted of the same charge.

The five defendants were arrested in March 2011 along with seven other defendants who were previously convicted of related charges.

            The conviction is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Wayne Olson, the Buffalo Police Department under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey, the Tonawanda Police Department under the direction of Chief Anthony Palombo, the Lockport Police Department under the direction of Chief Lawrence Eggert, and the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Toni M. Weirauch, Special Agent in Charge.

            Dewey Taylor will be sentenced on September 5, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.