Buffalo, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Efrain Hildalgo, AKA Cheko, 30, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, was sentenced to 330 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
“This case serves as a textbook example of how federal resources can remove entire gangs from a community,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “At the same time, this prosecution shows that once criminals are removed from our streets, a community can heal and thrive. Both the public – and any remaining criminals – can rest assured that we will not rest until all violent predators are brought to justice.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was a member of the Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang which was responsible for multiple acts of violence and the distribution of illegal narcotics on the West Side of Buffalo between 2000 and 2012. The narcotics included heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, and marijuana.
The defendant admitted his role in the murders of four people including:
November 11, 2004 murder of Nelson and Miguel Camacho in their Niagara Street residence. Josue Ortiz served 10 years in state prison for these murders. His conviction was vacated by an Erie County Court judge based on the findings of this federal investigation.
August 11, 2009 murder of 10th St. Gang associate Eric Morrow.
June 5, 2010 murder of Virgil Page on 19th Street.
Hildalgo also participated in seven attempted murders including rival gang members Desmond Ford, Darnell McIntosh, Edwin Rivera and Saul Santana.
A total of 18 defendants have been charged and convicted in this case.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Steven Nigrelli, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid.