Erie County Sheriff's Dept. Report 2023
Erie County Sheriff's Dept. Official Website
Sheriff's 2023 Fall Citizen Academy - September 2023Buffalo, NY – We would like to invite you to join us for Sheriff Garcia’s Citizen Academy. 2023 Fall Citizen Academy - Every Wednesday, October 4th Through November 29th, 2023. Class times 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Oct. 11th and 18th is a 5:00 p.m. start) In the 2023 Fall Citizen Academy, you will learn all about the different divisions of the Sheriff’s Office and what the Sheriff’s Office does to serve and protect the Citizens of Erie County. If you would like to participate in the fall academy, please send an email to Chief Mitchell Martin at Mitchell.Martin@erie.gov and request enrollment in the 2023 Fall Citizen Academy. We will follow up with a confirmation email and instructions on where to go on the first day of the academy. Space is limited and reservations are required.
Sheriff's Office Scam Phone Calls Alert - August 2023Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has been made aware that some Erie County residents have been receiving scam phone calls from an individual that purports to be a member of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. The caller states they are from the ECSO Warrants and Citations Division and the call is regarding an urgent civil matter. These are scam phone calls!!! Never provide any personal information over the phone such as social security numbers, birth dates, bank account information, ETC…
It is the policy of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Civil Enforcement Division and the Family Court Warrant Division to rarely communicate telephonically with individuals to be served. On rare occasions, if phone numbers are provided by lawyers or plaintiffs, deputies will reach out leaving information as to the process to be served. They will provide their name along with an Erie County phone number. The most common telephonic contact with the public occurs when service is attempted and the attached "service card" is left behind. The individual then reaches out to our Deputy. At no time do sworn members of the Civil Enforcement Division and the Family Court Warrants Division leave telephonic messages that are threatening, intimidating, or so vague as to leave the recipient questioning "what could this be about?" NOTIFY YOUR POLICE AGENCY SHOULD YOU BE THE TARGET OF ONE OF THESE CALLS.
Sheriff's Office Car Seat Check - July 2023Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia announces his office is conducting three car seat check events this weekend. On Grand Island, Saturday, July 29, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Grand Island Fire Department, 2275 Baseline Road. Sheriff Garcia wants to remind parents and guardians of the weekly car seat checks on Mondays at the Elma Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
GI Man Arrested. Numerous Felony Charges - July 2023
Grand Island, NY – Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia reports the arrest of 42-year-old Anson Whitted on drug and weapons charges following an extensive investigation. Whitted has been a target of the Erie County Sheriff’s Narcotics and Intelligence Unit since 2021 after the agency received anonymous complaints about his drug dealing activities throughout Erie County. Last month the unit reopened its investigation when the subject was identified as trafficking narcotics from his Carl Road residence in Grand Island.
On July 13, Supreme Court Justice Betty Calvo-Torres signed a search warrant for Whitted’s person, residence, and vehicle. On July 14, ECSO Narcotics and Intelligence Unit personnel observed Whitted depart his residence in a vehicle operated by a female and with a 2-year-old passenger. A traffic stop was initiated on Interstate I-190 near the Niagara Street exit, and he was taken into custody.
While being transported to the Grand Island Substation, deputies observed the subject attempting to hide contraband in the rear of a marked patrol vehicle. Deputies exited the highway and stopped on Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda. There, deputies recovered a package containing approximately 1/8 ounce of cocaine and fentanyl.
At approximately 12:15 p.m., while the traffic stop occurred, Narcotics personnel executed the search warrant for 98 Carl Street (right side). Within the dwelling, detectives and deputies recovered two semi-automatic rifles, an AK-47 and an AR-15; the AK-47 was stolen out of Garfield Heights, Ohio. Also recovered was a .40 caliber Glock handgun modified with a “switch,” which effectively transforms the weapon into a fully automatic machine gun, a 9mm and .45 caliber handgun; all the weapons recovered at the residence were loaded. Also seized was a large cache of high-capacity magazines and ammunition. Additionally, approximately a ½ kilo of crack cocaine, approximately 50 grams of fentanyl, and approximately $5,000.00 in U.S. currency were seized.
Whitted was arrested and charged with the following:
One felony count of criminal possession of a controlled substance – 8 ounces or more;
Two felony counts of criminal possession of a narcotic with intent to sell;
One felony count of criminal possession of a narcotic;
One felony count of criminal possession of a controlled substance;
One felony count of concealing physical evidence;
One felony count of criminal possession of a weapon – 5 or more firearms;
Four counts of criminal possession of a loaded firearm;
One felony count of criminal possession of a machine gun;
One felony count of criminal possession of stolen property – firearms;
One misdemeanor count of criminal possession of a controlled substance;
Three misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
Two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
The Erie County Crime Analysis Center assisted with intelligence gathering during the investigation, and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office assisted with legal guidance. Whitted is held at the Erie County Holding Center. The child and the female were released after the Sheriff’s Office contacted Child Protective Services.
Justice Case Dismissed - June 2023Buffalo, NY...June 14, 2023 – Department of Justice Case Against Erie County Sheriff’s Office Dismissed. Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia announced today that upon the request of the United States Department of Justice, the United States District Court has terminated Department of Justice oversight of the Erie County Jail Management Division. For the past 15 years, the Erie County Sheriff’s Division has been under federal oversight. Technical Compliance Consultants have found that Erie County has achieved sustained compliance with the Medical and Mental Health provisions of the order as well as the Protection from Harm and Environmental Health and Safety provisions. "I want to thank the men and women of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for all of their hard work that culminated in the termination of this federal oversight." added Sheriff Garcia. "This was no small undertaking and I am extremely proud of their efforts." The termination of this case adds to the growing list of accomplishments under the Garcia administration. Last week he announced the accreditation of the Sheriff’s Police Services Division. The Jail Management Division and Civil Division have also received accreditation under Sheriff Garcia and the Correctional Health Division is currently in pursuit of national accreditation.
National Safe Boating Week - May 2023Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia announced today that the Erie County Sheriff’s Marine Unit is participating in National Safe Boating Week, May 20-26, 2023. This week is an awareness campaign that encourages boaters to make the most of the boating season by being responsible and safe. National Boater Safety Week seeks to remind boaters, personal watercraft operators, and paddlers to brush up on the rules of the waterways and safety skills for the upcoming season.
Sheriff Garcia states, "Although our season isn’t as long as other parts of the country, Western New York has one of the best boat seasons around. As a boater, I familiarize myself with the boating rules each year and check all my equipment. I make special efforts to ensure I have enough life jackets because life jackets save lives."
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in four out of every five recreational boating fatalities, and those fatalities, 83 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. There are many options for boaters when choosing a life jacket. When selecting a life jacket, a boater should check that it is U.S. Coast Guard approved, appropriate for the water activity, and fits appropriately. The Sheriff’s Marine Unit will be patrolling the waterways to ensure boats are properly registered, operators follow New York State Navigation laws and local ordinances, and they wear the proper safety equipment.
Sheriff Garcia recommends these boater safety tips:
1. Wear a life jacket.
2. Take a Boating Safety Course, and make sure you carry your Boating Safety Certificate.
3. Register your vessel.
4. Check your equipment:
a. Life jackets;
b. Visual distress signals;
c. Fire extinguishers;
e. Whistle or horn;
f. Navigation lights;
g. Anchor lights.
5. Watch your speed – in New York State, vessel speed is generally limited to 5 mph when within 100 feet of the shore, a dock, pier, raft, float, or anchored boat.
6. Watch the weather.
7. Never boat under the influence.
8. Keep in touch.
Driver Arrested Twice for DWI in 3 Hours - May 2023Grand Island, NY – Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia reports that deputies arrested 51-year-old Leslie Zayas of Grand Island twice for DWI within a few hours. On May 2, 2023, at approximately 10:57 p.m., deputies responded to the intersection of Love and West River roads in Grand Island for a report that a vehicle struck a barrier. Deputies observed signs of intoxication and detected the odor of alcohol emanating from Zayas. She failed multiple standard field sobriety tests and refused to provide identification. Zayas was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of DWI and obstruction of governmental administration. A 12-hour hold was placed on the vehicle, and it was towed. Zayas was released with tickets.
At 1:48 a.m. on May 3, 2023, Deputies responded to New York State Police barracks at 2255 Baseline Road for reports that Leslie Zayas drove to the location to pick up her keys to the towed vehicle. Field sobriety tests were administered again, and the preliminary breath test result was a .14 BAC level. She, again, refused to provide identification and was charged with DWI and obstruction of governmental administration. Following the second arrest, Zayas was transported to the Erie County Holding Center to await her arraignment.