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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

10th Street Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charges

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Efrain Barreto, 32, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that between 2000 and 2010, Barreto was a member of the 10th Street Gang, a criminal enterprise engaged in racketeering activity. As a part of his involvement in the 10th Street Gang, the defendant, along with other members and associates of the gang, sold cocaine and other controlled substances on the West Side of Buffalo. As a part of his plea, Barreto admitted that he supplied cocaine to younger members of the gang, and provided firearms to fellow 10th Street Gang members who used the firearms to commit shootings and to defend drug turf within the 10th Street Gang’s territory. The defendant also admitted that he conspired with other 10th Street Gang members to distribute over 15 kilograms of cocaine as a part of the affairs of the 10th Street Gang. Barreto was indicted along with 34 others in this case. He is the ninth to be convicted. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless convicted at trial. “The 10th Street Gang was responsible for many acts of violence on the West Side of Buffalo for a long period of time, said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This Office will continue to make the prosecution of such violent street gangs a priority.” The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Investigators of the New York State Police under the direction of Major Christopher Cummings, the Buffalo Police Department under the direction of Commission Daniel Derenda, and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota. Sentencing is scheduled for February 15, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. EST, in Buffalo, N.Y., before Judge Arcara.

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