10th Street Gang Member Sentenced for RICO Conspiracy
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Hector Rodriguez, 25, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted of Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Conspiracy, was sentenced to 86 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was a member of the 10th Street Gang who was involved in drug dealing and firearms possession as a part of his participation in the gang. On May 22, 2006, Rodriguez learned that rival drug dealers were making what he believed to be a substantial amount of money selling crack cocaine in the turf controlled by the 10th Street Gang. The defendant dressed in old and dirty clothes and, pretending to be a crack cocaine user, purchased crack cocaine from the rival drug dealers who were selling in the 10th Street Gang's turf. Following the purchase, Rodriguez returned to a 10th Street Gang drug house and told fellow gang members, adding that he did not see any guns in the possession of the rival drug dealers. Armed 10th Street gang members then went to the location and shot the rival drug dealers using an AK-47 in an effort to force the rival drug dealers out of the neighborhood.
In 2010, the defendant was indicted along with 34 other 10th Street Gang members or associates. Eighteen defendants have been convicted to date.The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, along with the New York State Police, under the direction of Acting Major Craig Hainsworth, the Buffalo Police Department, under Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under Agent Frank J. Christiano, Resident Agent in Charge.