BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Christopher Pabon, 23, of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations conspiracy (RICO conspiracy). The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the case, stated that from 2000 through 2010, Christopher Pabon was a member or an associate of the 10th Street Gang. As a part of his involvement in the gang, the defendant, along with other members and associates of the gang, possessed firearms and sold marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin on the West Side of Buffalo, New York. As part of his plea of guilty, Pabon also admitted that on April 17, 2006, he gave a loaded handgun to a fellow gang member, knowing that the fellow gang member and others in the gang were going to shoot at rival 7th Street Gang members. The subsequent shooting resulted in the deaths of Brandon McDonald and Darinell Young, as well as injuries to other individuals.
Christopher Pabon was indicted along with 34 other 10th Street Gang members or associates. He is the 17th defendant to be convicted.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of investigators of the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Christopher Cummings; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commission Daniel Derenda; and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 23, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.