DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, August 27, 2018
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Gun Charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Erick Pizarro, 37, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges carry mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga, who is handling the case, stated that on June 9, 2015, the Buffalo and Lackawanna Police Departments a search warrant at the defendant’s Schuele Avenue residence. Officers recovered bags of heroin, a digital scale with heroin residue, a sifter with heroin residue, a spoon with heroin residue, a bottle of cutting agent, ammunition, and a loaded firearm.

On April 9, 2003, Pizarro was convicted of Attempted Robbery in the Second Degree in Erie County Court and sentenced to 30 months in prison. As a result, he is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Gary Loeffert, Special Agent-in-Charge, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood, and the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. before judge Vilardo.

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Field Division: New York Field Division