DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, July 18, 2016
William J. Hochul, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Federal Jury Convicts Tonawanda Man on Multiple Gun and Drug Charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has convicted Elijah Iverson, 38, of Tonawanda, NY, of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, maintaining a drug involved premises, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael P. Felicetta and Joel L. Violanti, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on October 22, 2014, the defendant called the Tonawanda, NY Police Department and stated that an individual with a gun was attempting to get into his Kenmore Avenue apartment. When officers arrived, there was no sign of the alleged gunman.

Subsequently, officers went into Iverson’s apartment to speak with him about the incident. As the defendant was talking with officers, a police canine detected narcotics in the apartment. Iverson admitted to having a small amount of marijuana and powder cocaine which he surrendered to the officers but refused a full search of the apartment. As a result, officers obtained a search warrant and returned the next day.

During the full search, officers recovered an assault weapon, ammunition, a pound of marijuana and cash in a safe in Iverson’s bedroom closet. In addition, officers recovered more rounds of ammunition and approximately two ounces of crack cocaine in a bedroom used by the defendant’s young daughter. Iverson has three prior felony convictions in state court which prevented him from legally possessing firearms.

The verdict is the result of an investigation by the Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jerome C. Uschold and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division. Sentencing is scheduled for October 25, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo who presided over the trial.

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Field Division: New York Field Division