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Buffalo man sentenced to 21 years in prison for role in gun trafficking conspiracy

Titus Thompson, Jr., 38, was handed the sentence Wednesday by Chief U.S. District judge Elizabeth Wolford.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo man will face 21 years behind bars for buying guns that were part of a trafficking conspiracy that brought over 100 illegal guns to Buffalo from Ohio.

Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford sentenced Titus Thompson, Jr., 38, on Wednesday for unlawful dealing in firearms, being a felon in possession of firearms, and maintaining a drug involved premises. Thompson was convicted by a federal jury.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that Thompson purchased firearms from co-defendant Deonte Cooper, who also sold heroin, recruited heroin customers to make straw purchases of more than 100 firearms. The purchases were made at gun shows and gun stores in Ohio and then transported to Buffalo where they were sold to local drug dealers including Thompson. 

The Buffalo Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives executed a search warrant of Thompson's apartment on Parkridge Avenue on May 18, 2018. The search uncovered a .40 caliber pistol and a 9mm pistol in the upper apartment and several other firearms in the lower apartment.

Thompson has two previous felony convictions and was legally prohibited from being in possession of a firearm. 

Deonte Cooper was also convicted at trial and sentenced to serve five years in prison.