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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

7th Street Gang Associate Sentenced On Rico Conspiracy

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

Buffalo, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that 7th Street Gang associate Joseph Whitely, 27, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy, was sentenced to 72 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 7th Street Gang was responsible for narcotics trafficking, numerous shootings and multiple murders in the 7th Street area of the West Side of Buffalo between 2000 and 2012.  Defendant Whitely, as a 7th Street Gang associate, sold heroin on behalf of the gang. 

Regarding violence, Whitely served as the getaway driver for 7th Street Gang member Efrain Hidalgo, who had moments earlier participated with others in the murder of rival 10th Street Gang member Eric Morrow on August 11, 2009. In doing so, Whitely assisted Hidalgo to avoid capture by the Buffalo Police Department.
A total of 18 defendants were charged in the prosecution of the 7th Street gang. All 18 defendants have now been convicted. The prosecution of the 10th Street gang, meanwhile, involved 44 defendants, all of whom were convicted.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Steven Nigrelli, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Charlie Patterson.

Updated September 16, 2016