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Gang member pleads guilty to murder

A West Side gang member described by investigators as the "worst of the worst" pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple acts of murder and attempted murder.

Kyle Eagan, a member of the Tenth Street Gang, faces life in prison in connection with his plea to federal murder and racketeering charges.

As part of his plea deal, Eagan, 23, admitted killing a 16-year-old rival gang member in September 2008 and taking part in three attempted murders in 2009.

"This prosecution demonstrates the commitment of this office to protecting our citizens from some of the most egregious acts of violence occurring in our community," U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in a statement.

FBI officials said Eagan's plea will go a long way toward ending a long-standing feud between two violent West Side organizations -- the Tenth Street and Seventh Street gangs.

Eagan was one of 35 people from both gangs charged in May with a wide range of criminal charges, including murder, attempted murder, assault and drug dealing.

"We've dismantled these two gangs, and that will have a great impact in the community," said FBI spokeswoman Maureen P. Dempsey.

For years, police have blamed the two gangs for damaging the quality of life on the West Side. Authorities also believe Eagan was behind a lot of the violence there.

Thursday, he admitted that he and other Tenth Street gang members stole a car on Sept. 15, 2008, and that he shot and killed Omar Fraticello-Lugo on Busti Avenue.

Eagan also admitted that two other rival gang members were shot, but not killed, during the murder.

He also admitted to three attempted murders a year later, including a "drive-by" shooting in which he shot a rival gang member multiple times from close range.

The prosecution, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, involved the FBI-led Safe Streets Task Force and included investigators from the State Police and Buffalo Police.

Formed in the late 1980s, the Tenth Street Gang dominated the West Side neighborhood bounded by Niagara Street to the west, Richmond Avenue to the east, Auburn Avenue to the north and Carolina Street to the south.

Gang members were known for "tagging" buildings and signs with graffiti to demonstrate their control of the neighborhood. They also were known for wearing plain white T-shirts and tattoos with "MOB" or "10" in the design.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com