DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

10th Street Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder, Racketerring and Narcotics Trafficking

BUFFALO, N.Y.—Acting U.S. James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Matthew Smith, 31, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted following a seven week jury trial of Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations conspiracy, Murder in Aid of Racketeering and related offenses, was sentenced to life in prison plus five years by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the defendant was a member of the 10th Street Gang which was responsible for multiple acts of violence and the trafficking of various controlled substances on Buffalo’s West Side. Specifically, Smith, directly or by helping his fellow gang members, participated in the murders of Brandon McDonald and Darinell Young and the attempted murders of six others.

“Today’s sentence should send a message to those who view violence, drug dealing, and gang membership as the way to a better life,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “That message—as we have witnessed first-hand on Buffalo’s West Side—is that a better life does indeed lay ahead for the law-abiding people who will remain in your community after you are arrested, tried, convicted, and permanently removed from it. I commend AUSA Tripi and the rest of his dedicated team who worked tirelessly for years to bring this highly impactful and successful prosecution. As a result of it, both the decent and law-abiding citizens of our City as well as the defendant will have the opportunity to live out their lives in precisely the type of community that each deserves.”

The defendant was a member of the 10th Street Gang between 2000 and 2012 and participated in other acts of violence including assault, drug distribution and possession of firearms. Smith is one of 44 10th Street Gang members and associates charged and convicted in this case.

Today’s sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ashan Benedict, New York Field Division.

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Field Division: New York Field Division