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Two 7th street gang members guilty in two drug murders

Jordan Hidalgo, 24, and Ritchie Juarbe, 25, both members of Buffalo’s Cheko’s Crew/7th Street Gang, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy charges in two West Side drug murders in 2008 and 2009, according to federal prosecutors. When U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara sentences them on April 7, each faces a maximum of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi said that on Nov. 6, 2008, Hidalgo and Juarbe went to the West Side home of Raquan Lloyd. Tripi said that Hidalgo admitted fatally shooting Lloyd and Juarbe admitted throwing the murder weapon into the Niagara River.

Tripi said Hidalgo also admitted taking part in the Aug. 11, 2009, murder of Eric Morrow, a member of the rival 10th Street Gang, at the corner of West and Auburn avenues. Juarbe admitted driving one of the getaway cars in that murder, Tripi said.

Prosecutors said that of 18 members of the gang arrested for the two murders, 14 have been convicted.