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Buffalo grandmother who headed family drug organization pleads guilty to drug conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2013

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Theresa Anderson, 56, of Buffalo, N.Y. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine before U.S. District Court Judge, Richard J. Arcara. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $8,000,000 fine.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that between 2000 and February 2012, Anderson headed an illegal narcotics drug trafficking organization that controlled drug sales on Swinburne and Deshler Streets in the City of Buffalo. The defendant employed several family members to sell crack cocaine on a daily basis in the neighborhood. In order to monopolize narcotics sales in the area, the defendant threatened and intimidated rival narcotics traffickers and even purchased several homes in the area which were used for selling and storing the illegal narcotics.

            "Just as Theresa Anderson and her family targeted and held a city neighborhood hostage, our Office, along with our law enforcement partners will continue to target any individual or groups of individuals who would consider similar behavior," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "To the residents of all city neighborhoods, if you see something, please say something. By working together, law enforcement and community members can protect families and properties." 

            Anderson was arrested in February 2012 along with eight others: Steven Butler; Dion Anderson; Melvin Calhoun; Anquensha Hodge, a/k/a Anne Anderson; Wymiko Anderson, a/k/a Red; Toshia Hodge, a/k/a Toshia Anderson; Tajia Anderson, a/k/a Porkchop; and Leo Mellerson; all of Buffalo. Five of these are either children or grandchildren of Anderson. A sixth defendant is Anderson's husband and the two others are boyfriends of Andersons' daughters. Anderson is the fourth defendant to be convicted.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto.

            Sentencing is scheduled for October 8, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.


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