For Immediate Release
Friday, September 9, 2016
, United States Attorney
William J. Hochul, Jr.
Contact: Barbara Burns
North Tonawanda Man Pleads Guilty to Gun Charge
New York Field Division
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Abimael Mercado, 35, of North Tonawanda, NY, pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who is handling the case, stated that on May 11, 2016, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Mercado’s home found a shotgun and eleven shells in his bedroom. The defendant has a prior federal felony conviction involving distribution of a controlled substance and was prohibited from possession of firearms and ammunition.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Timothy Howard.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 2, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. before Chief Judge Geraci.