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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Gun And Drug Charges

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Ronnie Charleston, 37, Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. to possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, and being a felon in possession of ammunition. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Higgins and Richard Antoine, who are handling the case, stated that on six separate occasions between December 2019 and January 2020, the defendant purchased approximately 49 grams of cocaine from co-defendant Saan Thompson. On August 5, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at Charleston’s Lisbon Avenue residence and seized approximately 1,500 rounds of assorted ammunition, three firearm magazines, $5,000 U.S. currency, approximately 12 grams of cocaine, and three digital scales. In 2006, the defendant was convicted in state court of Criminal Possession of a Loaded Firearm – Third Degree and is legally prohibited from possessing ammunition.

Saan Thompson was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.   

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated January 22, 2021