100 LBS OF MARIJUANA, HANDGUNS & ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FOUND IN RAID.
For the second day in a row, Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announces the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit conducted a raid where a significant quantity of illegal drugs and unlawfully possessed guns were seized.
At approximately 3:20 P.M. on February 2, (simultaneous to the Sheriff’s heroin arrest press conference) the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit, assisted by Buffalo PD and U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents, raided two residences at 42 and 44 Thatcher Avenue in the City of Buffalo. During the execution of the search warrants signed by Buffalo City Court Judge Craig Hanna, Deputies and Detectives discovered multiple plastic bags filled with marijuana, five 5-gallon buckets of marijuana (totaling approximately 100 pounds), two loaded handguns, and a large scale.
As the investigation continued it was discovered Nkomo Hepburn and Michelle Palmer were in the United States illegally and at least one of the subjects was previously deported to Jamaica.
Two other subjects were arrested during the raid, Michelle Palmer, 41 of Buffalo, and Sanjay Cousins, 25 of Buffalo. Both were charged with a C-felony for criminal possession of marijuana and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a firearm. Hepburn was charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
The three defendants have been placed in the Erie County Holding Center pending arraignment on February 3.
Hepburn and Palmer face additional federal charges and deportation proceedings after the criminal proceedings are adjudicated.
The Narcotics Unit has been developing information related to the subjects and the criminal operation for several months and continues to investigate the origin of the handguns.