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Young Gang Member Changes Career

Will Have 'Gated-Community' Lifestyle

Samuel "Set" Thurmond, 25, Will be "Set" for Life.

He is to have a new job and a new home.

Last week, the lad stepped before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara and told the judge he was ready to switch professions or retire altogether from his work as a drug dealer and murderer and retire to a gated community.

He is to have a private room, a shower, and can enjoy up to 23 hours per day of privacy, room service for meals and get the attention he requires when he comes out of his private quarters from federal employees trained to assist him.

Thurmond pleaded guilty to a charge of federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations conspiracy (RICO) that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, or possibly less in consideration of his plea.

According to assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, the youngster, who started his business career at the age of 13, joined an enterprise known as the 10th Street Gang, whose principle business was to sell customers cocaine, crack and heroin for their personal use and self- destruction.

The enterprise served much of the lower West Side of Buffalo.

Besides selling customers addictive drugs to destroy their lives, the business worked to instill fear in women, children and the elderly and to murder competitors and sometimes innocent bystanders.

After a competing business known as the 7th Street Gang began to service some of their customers, and shot and killed a 10th Street Gang businessman in 2006, "Set" Thurmond, then 19, along with other 10th Street Gang associates, went to a Pennsylvania St. home to eliminate some of the competitive aspects of the 7th Street Gang.

As the 10th St. associates approached the house, the sharp-eyed Thurmond noticed that the people were not 7th Street Gang members.

He tried to advise the others that they were about to eliminate innocent people, but the shooting started anyway and Thurmond, eager to assist his fellows, also shot his gun.

Thurmond and his associates shot and killed Brandon MacDonald and Darinell Young, who were not business associates of the 7th Street Gang.

In fact Young, 45, was merely coming home from a store after buying food for his pregnant girlfriend. The 16-year-old MacDonald was visiting a friend.

Over the years others were killed and Thurmond was arrested. Always glad to help out, he assisted three of his business associates to enjoy the same kind of gated community lifestyle he will enjoy.

"What do you want to know?" the helpful Thurmond allegedly told police.

They asked and he told them.

Dozens of arrests and convictions later, the 10 Street Gang and their enterprises are now out of business.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the New York State Police, the Buffalo Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Thurmond will be sentenced Feb. 12, 2014, by Judge Arcara.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 01, 2013