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Drug-related murder will send a Buffalo man to prison

A murder that arose from a dispute over drug dealing on the West Side is sending a Buffalo man to prison.

Alexander Duarte, 32, pleaded guilty Wednesday to discharging a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and faces up to 30 years in prison.

Duarte was accused of shooting Jose Rivera at his West Avenue home in July of 2012, according to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joel L. Violanti and Thomas S. Duszkiewicz.

Prosecutors said the shooting was in retaliation for Rivera’s involvement in an earlier shooting that targeted Duarte’s drug-dealing organization.

“After that, the defendant and his group got together and decided to retaliate," Violanti said Wednesday.

Duarte isn’t the first defendant to admit he shot at Rivera. Jose L. Ramirez-Merced, 30, of Buffalo, has also pleaded guilty to taking part in the killing. Rivera’s sister was also wounded in the shooting.

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