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January 10, 2018
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 212-337-2906

Buffalo man indicted in the murder of Cattaraugus County man during robbery

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) - Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt of DEA’s New York Division and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced yesterday that a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Jaron Ruth, 25, of Buffalo, N.Y., with the discharge of a firearm causing death; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine, and marijuana; distribution of crack cocaine; and using and maintaining a premises for drug dealing.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The defendant was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerimiah J. McCarthy. Ruth was ordered detained pending a detention hearing on January 11, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment the charges involve a conspiracy to distribute drugs in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties between 2010 and 2013. Additionally, the defendant is charged with the murder of Henry Ackley in his home in Kilbuck, N.Y. on September 21, 2012.  It is alleged that during a burglary and robbery of the victim’s home, Ackley was shot by Ruth in the chest, causing his death.

Ruth was previously indicted by a Cattaraugus County, N.Y. jury on a charge of Murder in the Second Degree for the murder of Henry Ackley. However, that indictment was dismissed on the motion by the Cattaraugus County District Attorney in deference to this federal prosecution.

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James Hunt stated, “Drug trafficking and gun related violence are often common denominators of DEA targets’ criminal histories. These federal charges solidify the gravity of Ruth’s criminal acts and history. DEA commends our law enforcement partners who worked on this investigation.”

“This office and the entire Department of Justice has demonstrated a renewed commitment to apprehending and bringing violent criminals like Mr. Ruth to justice,” said United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. “No matter whether their crimes are committed in the inner city or in the most remote of rural areas, this Office is targeting those who commit violence anywhere in our District. Working together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, our message to those who do violence is simple—we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will prosecute you.”

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Timothy Whitcomb; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; with additional assistance provided by the Cattaraugus County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Lori Pettit Rieman.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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