BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Robert Reed, 49, of Bradford, PA, who was convicted of conspiracy to transport firearms outside state of residency, was sentenced to time served and two years supervised release by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who handled the case, stated that on October 7, 2008, the defendant, in exchange for crack cocaine, attempted to purchase a .45 caliber firearm for co-defendant Juan Lopez. However, the sales clerk was suspicious of the defendant’s behavior and refused to sell the firearm to Reed. At the time of the attempted purchase, the defendant knew that Lopez intended to bring the firearm into New York State to use it for an unlawful purpose.
Reed was arrested, along with Juan Lopez, Robert Reed, Jacqueline Runyan, Trisha Amidon, Robert Johnson, Misty Mihalko, Amy Hollingsworth, and Brett Abrams. Juan Lopez recruited the co-defendants residing in Pennsylvania to purchase firearms for him in exchange for cocaine and money. As a convicted felon, Lopez was unable to purchase guns on his own, prompting the need for the straw purchases. Lopez went to stores that sold guns in Pennsylvania with some of the co-defendants to select the firearms he wanted them to purchase. Lopez then brought the guns purchased in Pennsylvania back to the Buffalo area. Some of the firearms were recovered after being used in various crimes in Buffalo.
All of the defendants have been convicted and sentenced except for Juan Lopez who is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Skretny on November 5, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
Today’s sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James S. Higgins, New York Field Division.