Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Gun Charges Involving Two Murders
Buffalo, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Brandon Jonas, 29, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to two counts of discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 35 years in prison, a maximum of life, a $250,000 fine or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Tripi and Wei Xiang, who are handling the case, stated that on November 11, 2004, the defendant shot and killed Nelson and Miguel Camacho, who were brothers, inside a residence on Niagara Street on Buffalo’s West Side.
The defendant, along with co-defendants Efrain Hidalgo and Misael Montalvo, received information that the brothers might have large amounts of money or drugs and would be good targets to rob. On November 11, 2004, defendant Montalvo drove Jonas and Hildalgo to the vicinity of the Niagara Street residence. Jonas was armed with an AK-47 style rifle and Hidalgo had a baseball bat. After surveilling the residence, Jonas and Hildalgo forced their way into the residence in an attempt to rob money and drugs from the brothers. During the robbery attempt, Jonas shot and killed the Camachos.
Josue Ortiz served 10 years in state prison for the murders of Nelson and Miguel Camacho. His conviction was recently vacated by an Erie County Court judge based on the findings of this federal investigation.
Efrain Hildalgo was convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Charges are still pending against Misael Montalvo. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto, 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 Delano A. Reid.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 29, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.