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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 25, 2019

Father And Son Indicted For Killing A Niagara Falls Man In Furtherance Of A Drug Conspiracy Involving Five Other Defendants

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging Lavon Parks, a/k/a Dutch, 29, and his father, James C. Parks, 55, both of Niagara Falls, NY, with discharge of firearm causing death involving the murder of Kevin Turner. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

In addition, Lavon and James Parks are also charged with narcotics conspiracy, along with Annette Lugo Rodriguez, 39, Vivian Pintado-Figueroa, 41, both of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Yarimar Berrios Alvarado, 24, Wilmer Casiano-Perez, 26, both of Buffalo, NY; and Wayne E. Payne, 63, of Niagara Falls. That charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.

Some defendants also face other charges including possession with intent to distribute cocaine, maintaining a drug involved premises, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that according to the superseding indictment, between May 2017 and March 2019, all seven defendants engaged in a conspiracy to sell cocaine in the Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY areas.

According to the superseding indictment and alleged by the government during court proceedings, on the afternoon of January 21, 2018, at approximately 4:00 p.m., 21 year old Kevin Turner was shot and killed as he exited a residence on Niagara Street in Niagara Falls.

The investigation included a series of controlled buys and payments involving defendant Lavon Parks. Investigators seized approximately 8.5 kilograms of cocaine and $52,000 in U.S. currency from postal parcels shipped from Puerto Rico to various locations in the Western District of New York, Florida, Alaska, Georgia, and Pennsylvania using the United States Postal Service. The shipments were made to co-conspirators. Additionally, the investigation identified $55,700 in U.S. currency and/or money orders shipped in parcels from co-conspirators to Puerto Rico as payment to the source of supply for the cocaine

The superseding indictment is the result of an investigation by the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent Thomas Licata; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the Boston Division.

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.  

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated October 25, 2019