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Drug dealer, implicated in cold case murder, sentenced to 30 years

By his own admission, Tyshawn Bradley sold drugs seven days a week, every week.

He also sold them on the grounds of the Commodore Perry apartments, a public housing complex not far from downtown, and that is one reason he's going to prison for 30 years.

Prosecutors say Bradley, who was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo, was the leader of a drug trafficking organization that terrorized tenants and acted as if it owned Perry Homes.

They also claim Bradley’s crack cocaine ring operated out of apartments at the public housing complex and relied on several drug dealers, including a 17-year-old boy.

"They prayed for it to happen," Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch said of the tenants and their desire to see Bradley arrested. "And their prayers were finally answered."

In sentencing Bradley, Vilardo made mention of the January 2011 murder of Andre James on Bickford Avenue in Buffalo's Kensington-Bailey neighborhood and his recent decision implicating Bradley in the killing.

Bradley was never charged with the murder but federal prosecutors offered proof of his involvement – they believe he was the shooter – as part of his sentencing.

"He killed Andre James that night," Lynch said Tuesday.

In the end, Vilardo found that Bradley was responsible for James' death, a claim Bradley's lawyer challenged.

"Mr. Bradley has always maintained and still does to this day that he had nothing to do with that act," said defense attorney Nelson S. Torre.

One of 18 people arrested as part of a federal crackdown in 2013, Bradley eventually admitted his drug dealing and pleaded guilty to three felony charges, including conspiracy to sell cocaine near public housing.

He also pleaded guilty to money laundering and admitted using his drug proceeds to buy real estate in Buffalo. The houses were bought by his mother, a co-defendant in the case.

"I know there's been a terrible picture painted of me, but that's not who I am," Bradley told Vilardo.

On Tuesday, Lynch asked Vilardo to give Bradley a life sentence and pointed to the number of people he hurt, including the tenants at Perry Homes.

Bradley’s conviction came more than six years after some 300 local, state and federal police raided four apartments at the public housing complex and two houses in the city’s Fruit Belt neighborhood.

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