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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Final Defendant Sentenced in Case Involving a Grandmother who Headed Family Drug Organization


       BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Leo Mellerson, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine, was sentenced to 15 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge, Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Clare Kane, who handled the case, stated that between 2000 and February 2012, Theresa Anderson headed an illegal narcotics drug trafficking organization that controlled drug sales on Swinburne and Deshler Streets in the City of Buffalo. The defendant employed several family members to sell crack cocaine on a daily basis in the neighborhood. Among them, Mellerson, who is the boyfriend of her daughter Toshia Anderson. On October 26, 2011, Mellerson sold crack cocaine to an undercover police officer on two separate occasions.

In order to monopolize narcotics sales in the area, Theresa Anderson threatened and intimidated rival narcotics traffickers and even purchased several homes in the area which were used for selling and storing the illegal narcotics.

“Today’s sentencing brings to a conclusion the successful prosecution of this group of individuals who attempted to destroy a city neighborhood,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Theresa Anderson, a wife, mother and grandmother, destroyed not only her family through her illegal narcotics trafficking but also the streets where the drug trafficking took place.”

As part of this case, the Government seized over $50,000 in U.S. Currency and approximately nine houses used by the drug organization. 

Theresa Anderson was sentenced to 188 months in prison in November 2013. She was arrested in February 2012 along with eight others including Leo Mellerson, Steven Butler, Dion Anderson, Melvin Calhoun, Anquensha Hodge, Wymiko Anderson, Toshia Hodge, and Tajia Anderson. Five of these are either children or grandchildren of Anderson. A sixth defendant is Anderson's husband and the two others are boyfriends of Andersons' daughters. All nine defendants have been convicted and sentenced.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the New York State Police, Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of Major Thomas G. Marmion.
Updated November 28, 2014