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Justice News

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Latifah Donaldson, 23, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug involved premises before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the prosecution, stated that between January 2013 and April 3, 2013, the defendant allowed her co-defendants to utilize her apartment, which was located on the grounds of the Perry Housing Projects, to manufacture, possess and distribute crack cocaine. As part of this conspiracy, a co-defendant maintained several locations on the grounds of the Perry Housing Projects in Buffalo, including Donaldson’s apartment.

On April 3, 2013, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at 124 Fulton Street and 305 Perry Street during which they recovered over 300 grams of cocaine base and 700 grams of powered cocaine as well as a firearm.

Donaldson was arrested in April 2013 along with 11 others. Defendants Melvin Tucker, Nannette Brown, Brandon Atkins, Eric Ross, David Varner, Phayon Redmond, Tashawn Gay, and Tara Robinson have also been convicted. Charges are pending against Tyshawn Bradley and Dallas McLamore. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

“As this case demonstrates, even allowing your home to be used by drug traffickers exposes a person to arrest and jail,” said U.S. Attorney Hohcul. “This office will continue to prosecute all involved in hurting our community through narcotics trafficking or violence.”

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Matthew Renneman, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 27, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Skretny.

Updated July 15, 2015