Police Nab Group of Teens Responsible for Erie County Robberies

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ERIE COUNTY, NY – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that several adolescent offenders have been indicted for their role in various robberies that have occurred in Amherst, Buffalo, and the Town of Tonawanda. All of the teenage defendants are being prosecuted in the Erie County Youth Part court.

Jaylan Holliday, 18, of Buffalo and a 17-year-old male from Buffalo were arraigned on an indictment charging them with one count of Robbery in the First Degree, a Class “B” violent felony, and one count of Robbery in the Second Degree, a Class “C” violent felony. The defendants appeared virtually before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan on October 1, 2020.

It is alleged that on July 30, 2020, the defendants, while acting in concert with one another, approached a woman who was sitting in her vehicle at a convenience store on Niagara Street in the City of Buffalo. The defendants allegedly opened the driver’s side door and demanded money from the victim. Defendant Holliday is accused of punching the victim in the face multiple times and displaying what appeared to be a firearm. The defendants are accused of forcibly stealing the victim’s wallet.

Defendant Holliday was additionally charged with one count of Attempted Robbery in the First Degree, a Class “C” violent felony. It is alleged that after the incident on Niagara Street, the defendant drove to a gas station on Bailey Avenue in the City of Buffalo. The defendant allegedly approached a gas station attendant, displayed a gun, and demanded money from the victim. The defendant allegedly retreated after the victim, who is Muslim, displayed a knife in self-defense during the attempted robbery.

Holliday and his co-defendant are scheduled to return on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. for motions. They remain held without bail.

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Martez Smalls, 18, of Buffalo and a 15-year-old male from Buffalo were arraigned on an indictment charging them with five counts of Robbery in the First Degree, Class “B” violent felonies. The defendants appeared virtually before Erie County Family Court Judge Kevin M. Carter in Youth Part court on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

It is alleged that on July 27, 2020, at approximately 9:00 p.m., the defendants, while working in concert with one another, forcibly stole a cellphone and wallet from the victim on Highland Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda. It is further alleged that during the commission of the offense the defendants displayed what appeared to be a firearm.

It is alleged that shortly after the first incident, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the defendants approached four people on Capen Boulevard in the Town of Amherst. The defendants, while working in concert with each other, displayed what appeared to be a firearm and forcibly stole property from the four Muslim victims, including cellphones, wallets, car keys, and two motor vehicles. The defendants were allegedly located short time later by Buffalo Police inside the stolen vehicles at a parking lot near the Langfield Homes apartment complex. The defendants allegedly attempted to flee police in the stolen vehicles. One of the reported stolen vehicles was involved in a crash with another vehicle unrelated to the alleged robbery.

Smalls and his co-defendant are scheduled to return on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. for motions. They remain held without bail at the East Ferry Detention Facility.

A third suspect, a 16-year-old male, was charged as a co-defendant in this case. He did not appear in court for an arraignment and an indictment warrant was issued for his arrest.

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Last October, DA Flynn announced that his office along with the Buffalo Police Department were actively investigating reported robberies that appeared to target members of the Muslim community on the city’s East Side. Anyone with information on these crimes or other incidents can contact the Erie County DA’s Office (716-858-2424).

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department, Amherst Police Department and the Town of Tonawanda Police Department for their work in these investigations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Noha A. Elnakib and Chief Danielle N. D’Abate of the DA’s Community Prosecution Unit.

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