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FBI Breaks Up Major Criminal Organization in Buffalo, 24 Arrested

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo office of the FBI has cracked down on a major criminal organization operating on the city's East Side.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, the FBI announced the arrests of 24 people traced to an organization known as the "Michigan Avenue Posse." The arrests were made during an early morning sweep by several law enforcement agencies. The FBI says six SWAT teams participated. Two pit bulls were shot to death when they tried to attack police.

Among those arrested included the group's ring leader, Claude Russell Jr. of Buffalo. If convicted on the federal charges he faces, Russell could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison.

FBI officials say authorities seized one kilo of cocaine and ten weapons, including two assault rifles.