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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Buffalo Man Sentenced On Gun And Drug Charges Involving A Homicide

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 Alexander Duarte, 23, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of discharge of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and conspiracy to distribute heroin, was sentenced to 330 months in prison by U.S District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas S. Duszkiewicz and Joel L. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that in June 2012, Duarte, co-defendant Jose L. Ramirez-Merced, and others sold heroin on the West Side of Buffalo. On July 15, 2012, the group planned a home invasion robbery targeting the residence of suspected heroin dealer Jose Rivera. However, the defendants and others invaded the wrong residence and stole cocaine and cash. 

As a result, Rivera began making threats against individuals in the group and attempted to kill one of the individuals known as L.B. In response, the group decided to murder Rivera. On July 31, 2012, Duarte and Merced obtained two guns and proceeded to a residence on West Avenue in Buffalo where they opened fire, killing Rivera and wounding a female.    

Merced was convicted and sentenced to 240 months in prison. 

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.       

Updated January 13, 2017