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Jury finds Niagara Falls man guilty on gun charge


BUFFALO -- Following a five day trial, a federal jury has convicted Wilbert Hayes, Jr., 53, of Niagara Falls of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Astorga and Joseph M. Tripi, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on August 15, 2014, Niagara Falls Police officers executed a search warrant at 1318 Walnut Avenue in the upper apartment. During the search, officers recovered a shotgun belonging to Hayes who was in the apartment at the time of the search. The gun was discovered in a child’s bedroom. A quantity of marijuana and packaging materials was also found during the search in a fish tank in the dining room.  

The defendant has three prior state felony convictions, which prohibit him from legally possessing a firearm.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 18.