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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

7th Street Gang Member Sentenced For His Role In Murder Of Rival Gang Member

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Esteban Ramos-Cruz, 29, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of racketeering conspiracy (RICO), was sentenced to 30 years by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.  
 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the case, stated that between 2000 and 2012, Cruz was a member of the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang which was responsible for drug trafficking and violent crime on Buffalo’s West Side. During this time, as a part of the rivalry with the 10th Street Gang, the defendant shot and killed 10th Street Gang associate Eric Morrow on August 11, 2009. Cruz and co-defendant Jordan Hidalgo both shot at Morrow with Morrow being killed by the .22 caliber rifle discharged by Cruz. The defendant also sold illegal narcotics on Buffalo’s West Side.   

Cruz was one of 18 7th Street Gang members and associates indicted in this case. All 18 defendants have been 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 Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division. The task force includes representatives of the Amherst Police Department, the Buffalo Police Department the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, the Hamburg Police Department, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, the New York State Police, the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Enforcement & Removal Operations. Additional assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the United States Marshal Service, the Lackawanna Police Department, and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department.

Updated May 18, 2016