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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Buffalo Man Convicted By A Federal Jury Of Being A Felon In Possession Of A Gun

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has found Justin Vazquez, 30, of Buffalo, NY, guilty of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Adler and Michael P. Felicetta, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on January 29, 2015, the defendant’s mother made a 911 call to Buffalo Police claiming that she was being held hostage by Vazquez in her residence on Madison Avenue in Buffalo. There were also two minors present in the home according to the mother.

When officers arrived, the defendant was in the shower. During a search of the residence, officers found a loaded semi-automatic assault rifle in Vazquez’s bedroom. On the bedroom door was a hand written sign that read “no trespassing or you will be shot.” Forensic testing determined that the defendant’s DNA was on the rifle.

The defendant was previously convicted on three felony charges of Criminal Contempt in State Court which prevented him from legally possessing a firearm.

The verdict is the result of an investigation by 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 Ashan Benedict, New York Field Division. 

Sentencing is scheduled for May 11, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. who presided over the trial.

Updated February 2, 2017