DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, May 8, 2017
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Jury Finds Niagra Falls Man Guilty on Gun Charge

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that, following a five day trial, a federal jury has convicted Wilbert Hayes, Jr., 53, of Niagara Falls, NY, of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Astorga and Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on August 15, 2014, Niagara Falls Police officers executed a search warrant at 1318 Walnut Avenue in the upper apartment. During the search, officers recovered a shotgun belonging to Hayes who was in the apartment at the time of the search. The gun was discovered in a child’s bedroom. A quantity of marijuana and packaging materials was also found during the search in a fish tank in the dining room.   
The defendant has three prior state felony convictions, which prohibit him from legally possessing a firearm.
The verdict is the result of an investigation by the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief Bryan DalPorto and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 18, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara who presided over the trial.
New York Field Division