Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 34-year-old Shawn A. Saunders of Buffalo pleaded guilty this morning before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to one count of Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “D” violent felony). He pleaded guilty the day before jury selection was scheduled to begin in his upcoming trial.
On June 15, 2019, Buffalo Police received information that the defendant, who was on parole, was in possession of an illegal firearm. Officers responded to investigate and located the defendant and his co-defendant, 49-year-old Reginald McCrayer, at a parking lot on Fillmore Avenue and French Street in the City of Buffalo. The defendant was subsequently searched and an illegal gun was found on his person. McCrayer was also allegedly searched and found in possession of another illegal gun.
Both defendants were indicted and arraigned on one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony). Saunders was held on a parole detainer and McCrayer was released on $75,000 bail. After McCrayer failed to appear in court, a warrant was issued for his arrest in March 2021. His case remains pending before Judge DiTullio.
Saunders faces a maximum of 7 years in prison when he is sentenced as a second violent felony offender on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. He continues to remain held without bail.
DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department for their work in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rebecca L. Schnirel of the Major Crimes Unit and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas C. Bussi of the Felony Trials Bureau.