Dwayne A. Ferguson, the community activist arrested in February after he was found carrying a loaded handgun at an East Side school where he worked with an after-school program, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor gun charge.
Ferguson, 52, of Butler Avenue, faces up to one year in jail when he is sentenced Aug. 19 by State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski on his guilty plea to fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
He was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance, with the condition that he surrender both his firearms to authorities.
Ferguson was originally charged with felony counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds as well as a misdemeanor count of obstructing governmental administration.
The first weapon charge, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, was later dropped after it was determined that Ferguson has a permit for the gun he was found carrying Feb. 6 at Harvey Austin Elementary School.
The Sycamore Street school was put on lockdown shortly after 4 p.m. Feb. 6 when the school office received an anonymous call that there was a man with a gun on or near the school property. About 60 students were in the building for after-school programs.
About 15 patrol cars responded to the scene, and the lockdown ended about four hours later when Ferguson was arrested.
Ferguson, longtime president of the MAD DADS Buffalo chapter and a volunteer with Buffalo Peacemakers, which seeks to defuse violence in neighborhoods and at public events, has worked with at-risk youth in after-school programs in various city schools for several years.