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Gang Member Sentenced on Racketeering Charges

BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Adrian Traylor, 25, of Buffalo, New York, who was convicted of RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Conspiracy) charges, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and five years’ supervised release by Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that from 2004 through 2009, Adrian Traylor was associated with the “Rounds Crew,” of group of individuals that controlled the area around Broadway Avenue and Reed Streets in Buffalo. As a part of his involvement in the gang, Traylor, along with other members and associates, sold marijuana in the area and committed acts of violence.

Violence included the August 14, 2009 murder of Shawn Kozma. Traylor and other Rounds Crew members shot Kozma to death behind a house on Reed Street because they believed Kozma was cooperating with Buffalo Police regarding a murder Traylor had committed a few days before. The day after the shooting, some gang members took Kozma’s body to a vacant lot on Smith Street in Buffalo and set it on fire.

“Gangs and the violence often associated with them are among the most dangerous threats to our community,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Our Office, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to use all of the federal tools at our disposal to target and dismantle such violent criminal organizations. These tools include using the RICO laws, which as this case demonstrates, results in an extremely significant jail sentence which will now be served far from Buffalo.”

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda; as well as with the assistance of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Frank Sedita.

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