A Houston man has admitted he helped supply cocaine to a notorious East Side gang.
Earl Brown Sr., 54, pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering charges, conceding he regularly provided multiple kilograms of cocaine – drugs that eventually made their way to Buffalo’s LRGP gang, according to federal authorities.
Brown’s guilty plea was announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.’s office.
Brown supplied cocaine to Franklin Richards – described by authorities as a major supplier to the LRGP gang. The cocaine was either shipped or transported by Brown from Texas. Richards pleaded guilty in March 2013 to federal charges of cocaine distribution.
Richards distributed the drugs to Dewayne Gray, the leader of the LRGP gang. Gray took a plea deal in March to racketeering conspiracy and admitted he was in charge of a gang connected to two murders. Those were the 2009 killing of Andre Anderson and the 2011 killing of Amir Chambers.
LRGP stands for Lombard, Rother, Gibson and Playter, the streets that bounded the area where the gang operated.
According to authorities, Gray processed much of the cocaine into crack cocaine, which gang members sold in the Broadway-Fillmore Avenue area on the city’s East Side.
Brown also admitted to money laundering. Authorities confiscated $112,000 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in December 2012. That money was drug proceeds headed to Brown in Texas.
Brown pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. He was arrested with seven other defendants, all of whom have been convicted, authorities said.
His plea wraps up an investigation involving the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Buffalo Police, State Police and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police.
When Brown is sentenced Aug. 3, he faces between 10 years and life in prison.