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Buffalo man pleads guilty to robbery and extortion charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2014

    BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kashika Speed, 41, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and extortion of assets. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant and others conspired to commit the robbery of cocaine and U.S. currency from a victim, who was an individual involved in the distribution of cocaine in the Western District of New York. During the robbery, Speed and others went to the victim’s residence in Buffalo, restrained the victim, brandished a firearm, and threatened to kill the victim if he did not provide cocaine to the defendant and his accomplices. As a result, the victim made a phone call to one of his associates, and arranged for two kilograms of cocaine to be provided to the defendant and the others. After receiving the cocaine, Speed and the others released the victim. 

“This case demonstrates that in our continuing efforts to remove violent predators from the streets, law enforcement will prosecute even those who would prey upon others engaged in criminal behavior,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This in turn benefits our community as a whole because, in this case alone, the defendant will likely serve substantial jail time and will no longer be a threat to residents.”

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Cannon, New York Field Division, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 29, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.