Thursday, April 28, 2016
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Earl Brown, Sr., 54, of Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and money laundering conspiracy, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Burgasser, Franklin Richards was a major supplier of cocaine to a drug trafficking organization in Buffalo known as L.R.G.P., a violent street gang named after the East Side streets of Lombard, Rother, Gibson and Playter. Richards obtained multiple kilograms of cocaine on a regular basis from the defendant Earl Brown which was shipped or transported from the Houston area to Buffalo. Richards then distributed cocaine to Dewayne Gray, who was the leader of the L.R.G.P. organization. Gray then processed much of the cocaine into crack cocaine which was later sold by various L.R.G.P. members. The cocaine was sold at various locations in the Broadway/Fillmore area of Buffalo.
Brown was also involved in money laundering activities. On December 14, 2012, Franklin Richards attempted to send $112,000 in drug proceeds to the defendant but the money was seized at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Brown was arrested along with seven other defendants, all have been convicted.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Steven Nigrelli, and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, under the direction of Chief George Gast.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 3, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Villardo.
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York
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