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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

LRGP Member Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy, Admits Murdering Man He Thought Was A Rival Gang Member

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Matthew Johnson, 28, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribute, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years behind bars and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that between late 2014 and May 2015, the defendant, along with several other members and associates of the L.R.G.P. Gang, sold and distributed crack cocaine in the areas of Lombard, Rother, Gibson, and Playter Streets in Buffalo. Johnson also sold cocaine out of 41 Houghton Street in Buffalo to various drug customers, including an undercover police officer.

As part of his plea, the defendant admitted to killing Terrell Taylor on December 14, 2014, as he was walking in the area of Brinkman Avenue and Rohe Street in Buffalo. Johnson mistakenly believed that Taylor was a member of a rival gang, when in fact he was not.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 19, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated June 11, 2019