CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Anthony Gerace, 40, of Clarence, NY, pleaded guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. The charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Tripi and Brendan T. Cullinane, who are handling the case, stated that between 2006 and January 28, 2019, the defendant was involved in the possession and distribution of marijuana, THC, cocaine, hydrocodone, and other federally controlled substances. On January 28, 2019, a federal search warrant was executed at the Gerace’s residence on Michael Douglas Drive in Clarence. Homeland Security Investigation special agents recovered quantities of marijuana and THC intended for distribution by the defendant, as well as 14 firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition for the various firearms. The firearms and ammunition were located in close proximity to the controlled substances, and also in close proximity to $103,360 in U.S. currency. As part of his plea, Gerace admitted that the firearms protected him, his proceeds, the location where he stored his controlled substances and currency, and the controlled substances, which had a conservative street value of approximately $98,850. As part of his plea, the defendant also agreed to forfeit $103,360 as well as the firearms and ammunition seized from him on January 28, 2019.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 24, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Sinatra.
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