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Major West Side gangs rounded up in Buffalo

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-967386.mp3

Buffalo, NY – Federal, state and local law enforcement made a series of arrests Thursday that involved members of a two violent West Side gangs.

The arrests involved gang violence and murders.

"Today there is another good reason to live and work in the City of Buffalo," said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge in Buffalo, Richard Kollmar.

Early Thursday morning local, state and federal authorities gathered to rid the Buffalo community of violent gang members.

"Who have been indicted by a federal grand jury for a host of crimes, including murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses," said Kollmar.

The investigation is a follow up to 27-arrests of 10th Street gang members made in September of last year. Eight members of the well-known 10th and Seventh Street gangs were arrested, gangs that federal authorities say have been terrorizing the West Side for decades.

"Cannot say enough about the FBI and this investigation, U.S. Attorney's office. I believe the West Side and move into Riverside, is a lot safer today because of both operations," said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Dereneda praised the cooperative effort by federal investigators and state police working with his department to crack down on the violent gang members.

"Numerous homicides, numerous shootings back and forth over the years. They've been in existence for many years, and I can't tell you, countless homicides countless shootings, terrorizing neighborhoods, the whole West side," said Deremeda.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul said with Thursday's arrests,a round of new charges was also lodge against 11 of the gang members. All Seventh street gang members appeared in court. Four have been charged with murder.

"All of the allegations against the Seventh Street gang members are very serious. They carry up to life imprisonment. Now with respect to the murder count, however, those four Seventh Street gang members either face life imprisonment, or are possibly eligible for the death penalty. That particular determination under the federal rules is made by the Attorney General," said Hochul.

Three suspects are at large. Authorities said at this point only remnants of the gang members remain in the City, but they will continue to track them down.