Even now, years later, Aaron Hicks maintains his innocence.
On Wednesday, during sentencing by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, the Buffalo man again denied any ties to the Schuele Boys street gang. He also denied allegations that he oversaw a cocaine distribution ring.
"This ordeal has been shattering to his family, shattering to him," said defense attorney Robert Ross Fogg.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. Parisi told a different story, suggesting Hicks is also tied to the gang-related murder of Quincy Balance at Northland and Stevens streets in 2012. Hicks denies that claim, as well.
In the end, Arcara disagreed with Hicks' claims of innocence and sentenced him to 30 years in prison on his convictions for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and racketeering conspiracy.