Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty for Firing Shot at Police Officer During Execution of Search Warrant

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Man inserts drum of cartridges into pistol. Reloading gun close-up. Firearms in hand on dark background. Defense or attack.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 21-year-old Pablo E. Alicea of Buffalo pleaded guilty this morning before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to:

  • One count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (Class “B” violent felony)
  • One count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony)
  • One count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (Class “B” felony)

On May 18, 2020, at approximately 10:41 a.m., Buffalo Police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on the 2000 block of Niagara Street. As investigators entered the home, the defendant jumped out of a first-floor window and encountered a member of the Buffalo Police SWAT team outside. The defendant fired at the officer with an illegal gun and the officer returned fire. No one was injured during the incident. The defendant was apprehended after a brief foot chase. A quantity of cocaine was found inside the home.

Alicea faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on 4/12/22 at 2:30 p.m. He continues to remain held without bail.

42-year-old Cesarae Thomas of Buffalo was also arrested outside of the home during the execution of the search warrant. When officers encountered him, he had a loaded, illegal gun on his person. Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony) before Judge DiTullio on January 27, 2022.

Thomas faces an indeterminate sentence of 3 ½ to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced as a second felony offender on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. He remains released on $75,000 bail previously posted in Buffalo City Court.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Intelligence Unit and SWAT Team for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca L. Schnirel of the Major Crimes Unit.