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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Fruit Belt Gang Member Going To Prison On Gun Charge

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Michael Woods, 33, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, was sentenced to serve 88 months in prison by U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who handled the case, stated that since August 2019, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force has been investigating the Fruit Belt Gang, whose members are allegedly actively engaged in the distribution of narcotics, firearms offenses, and gang activity.

On July 1, 2020, Central Park Gang (CPG) member Shariff Jackson was murdered in Buffalo, and investigators believe that Fruit Belt Gang members were involved. On July 4, 2020, Woods, and co-defendant Antwaine Parker, were shot on Sycamore Avenue in Buffalo. Woods, who was shot in the head and spine, drove himself to the hospital, after throwing a gun from the scene. A 9mm handgun was recovered on the roof of a nearby building. Woods told investigators that he was driving in the area with an unnamed person but provided no additional information. Investigators believe the shooting could be the result of rival gang activity between CPG and the Fruit Belt Gang.

On July 14, 2020, a Buffalo Police Officer recovered two guns after initiating a traffic stop of Woods’ vehicle. In March 2012, Woods was convicted in state court of Attempted Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances and sentenced to serve five years’ probation. In addition, Woods was sentenced in July 2015 to serve 84 months in prison after being convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm. As a result, both defendants are legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Antwaine Parker was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Erie Crime Analysis Center, under the direction of Director Dennis Richards.  

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated January 25, 2022