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Press Release

Buffalo man going to prison on multiple gun and drug charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Robert L. Williams, Jr., 42, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to transfer firearms purchased outside of state of residency, unlawful dealing in firearms, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, was sentenced to serve 84 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that between November 2017, and June 2018, Williams, without being a licensed firearm importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector, conspired with others to transfer firearms into the State of New from the State of Ohio. Williams, who resided in New York, asked others to assist him in conducting straw purchases of more than 20 firearms in Ohio, which were then transported into New York. On May 3, 2018, Buffalo Police officers responded to shots fired in a vacant lot next to Williams’ residence. Officers recovered two ammunition cases with magazines and a bag containing heroin in front of his residence. Inside the residence, in plain view, officers recovered a pistol, ammunition, and several firearms parts and accessories. Williams admits that he conspired with others to distribute heroin, including to some of the straw purchasers in exchange for the straw purchasers obtaining firearms for Williams.

On May 18, 2018, a search warrant was executed at Williams’ residence, during which law enforcement seized two additional firearms and ammunition. Williams was convicted of felony charges in 2004, 2006 and 2012, and is legally prohibited from possessing firearms.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Bryan DiGirolamo, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.

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Barbara Burns


Updated April 11, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses