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Press Release

Buffalo Man Sentenced On Gun Charge Involving A Homicide

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

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 Jose L. Ramirez-Merced, 31, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of discharge of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking which caused the death of a person, was sentenced to 240 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas S. Duszkiewicz and Joel L. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that in June 2012, Merced, co-defendant Alexander Duarte 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 Jose Rivera. However, the defendants and others invaded the wrong residence and stole cocaine and cash. 

As a result, Jose 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, Merced, co-defendant Alexander Duarte retrieved a gun and proceeded to a residence on West Avenue in Buffalo where they opened fire, killing Rivera and wounding a female.     

Alexander Duarte has also been convicted and will be sentenced on January 12, 2017.

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 November 8, 2016