One Man Pleads Guilty, Another Sentenced For Their Roles In Buffalo Area Drug Ring

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CONTACT: Barbara Burns

PHONE: (716) 843-5817

FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Antoine Gilbert a/k/a Twan, 43, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine. In addition, Ronnie Charleston, also of Buffalo, who was convicted of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, and being a felon in possession of ammunition, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison by Judge Arcara.  

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Higgins and Richard Antoine, who are handling the case, stated that Antoine Gilbert conspired with co-defendants Ronnie Charleston, Louis Gilbert, and Saan Thompson to sell cocaine in the City of Buffalo. On 18 different occasions between December 21, 2019, and March 13, 2020, Antoine Gilbert purchased approximately 75 ounces of cocaine from Thompson. On August 5, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at Antoine Gilbert’s Wecker Street residence and seized cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, $2,050 in U.S. currency, a digital scale, four cell phones, and, a computer. 

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As to defendant Charleston, on six separate occasions between December 2019 and January 2020, he purchased approximately 49 grams of cocaine from co-defendant Thompson. On August 5, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at Charleston’s Lisbon Avenue residence and seized approximately 1,500 rounds of assorted ammunition, three firearm magazines, $5,000 U.S. currency, approximately 12 grams of cocaine, and three digital scales. In 2006, the defendant was convicted in state court of Criminal Possession of a Loaded Firearm – Third Degree and is legally prohibited from possessing ammunition.

Saan Thompson and Louis Gilbert were previously convicted and are awaiting sentencing. 

The plea and sentencing are the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.   

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Antoine Gilbert is scheduled to be sentenced on October 14, 2021, before Judge Arcara.

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