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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2015 Archives > August 2015 > Demolition Of Drug Houses

Demolition Of Drug Houses



August 26, 2015 – Today Mayor Byron Brown joined U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. as he announced that six drug houses used by the Anderson family drug trafficking organization are being demolished following a historic agreement reached between the City of Buffalo and the U.S. Marshals Service. The houses were forfeited as a result of the Office’s prosecution of the Anderson organization. All members of the organization have been convicted, with Theresa Anderson receiving a sentence of 188 months in prison.  

"This is what it’s really about when we take something and then turn it back over to the community and revitalize a neighborhood,” said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “Today’s demolition is the first of six demolitions of forfeited properties from the Theresa Anderson drug prosecution and marks the end of a long chapter. This was a team effort to make our city even better and it worked. The partnership between the City of Buffalo, the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals Service has proven to be a significant tool in strengthening the quality of life in our community and fighting crime, contributing to the over 25% drop in overall crime in Buffalo since 2005.”

 “Drug dealing in houses such as this has the potential to cause physical, psychological and emotional harm to an entire neighborhood,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “By removing this blight, law enforcement and the City send a strong message that Buffalo continues to make positive progress, while restoring confidence to those who call this community home. We look forward to continuing our efforts to make Buffalo and its neighborhoods safer and healthier places to live.”

Also in attendance today were United States Marshal Charles Salina, NYS Police Captain Steven Nigrelli, Drug Enforcement Administration Resident Agent in Charge John Flickinger and Deputy Buffalo Police Commissioner Kim Beatty as the wrecking ball began to tear down these neighborhood eyesores.  

From approximately 2005 to 2012, the Anderson drug trafficking organization controlled drug sales in a multi-block neighborhood on the East Side of Buffalo, including Swinburne and Deshler Streets. The organization employed family members to sell crack cocaine on a daily basis, and engaged in violence in order to monopolize narcotics sales in the area.  Organization members also purchased several homes in the area which were used for selling and storing the illegal narcotics.

As part of the prosecution, over $50,000 in U.S. Currency was seized and eight drug houses were forfeited. Two of the houses were destroyed by fire. The remaining six properties will be demolished by the City of Buffalo working in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service.  The demolitions will be paid for by funding from the federal asset forfeiture program. These funds include the illegal proceeds of criminal activity. The six properties being demolished are:

  • 41 Deschler
  • 54 Deschler
  • 19 Swinburne
  • 26 Empire
  • 39 Empire
  • 214 Hutchinson

Two other drug houses, 31 and 74 Deshler Street, burned down earlier this year.

Theresa Anderson was arrested in February 2012 along with eight others: Steven Butler; Dion Anderson; Melvin Calhoun; Anquensha Hodge, a/k/a Anne Anderson; Wymiko Anderson, a/k/a Red; Toshia Hodge, a/k/a Toshia Anderson; Tajia Anderson, a/k/a Porkchop; and Leo Mellerson; all of Buffalo. Five of these defendants are either children or grandchildren of Anderson. A sixth defendant is Anderson's husband and the two others are boyfriends of Andersons' daughters. All nine have been convicted and sentenced.