Niagara Gazette

February 21, 2014

Iceberg melts down again

By Rick Pfeiffer rick.pfeiffer@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A longtime Niagara Falls and Buffalo gang leader and drug dealer has demonstrated — once again — he has a hard time staying out of trouble. 

Clayton “Iceberg” Green has been sent back to state prison for 18 months after being violated by state parole officers for driving without a license.

Green, 60, has spent half of his life behind bars. 

He was released in spring 2013 after doing a little more than six years of the nine-year prison sentence handed down to him by former Niagara County Court Judge Peter Broderick in November 2006.

Green was in the process of serving the five years of supervised release that accompanied his prison sentence.

Falls police narcotics detectives arrested Green in April 2006 and charged him with being the ring leader in an attempt to set up a large-scale cocaine distribution ring to be run out of his Byrd Avenue home.

At the time of his sentencing, a state prosecutor said Green began setting up the drug ring just after being released from a prior prison term because “he couldn’t get a job.”

Green had dreamed of setting up a cocaine distribution network that would reach from the Falls to Buffalo, Lockport, Geneva and Elmira. The dream was shattered on the evening of March 18, 2006, when a concussion grenade, tossed by a member of the Falls Police SWAT team, blew out the windows of Green’s SUV after he was pulled over by a patrol car on Walnut Avenue.

Green, who was 53 at that time and had already spent 26 years in prison, had promised he would never to return to jail again. So a task force of local police agencies took no chances and a half dozen snipers focused the laser sights of their AR-15 assault rifles on Green as he was taken down.

“The red lights from the rifles lit him up like a Christmas tree,” a veteran cop said.

Green eventually took a plea deal from prosecutors and dodged an even longer prison sentence when assault charges stemming from the beating of an inmate at the Niagara County Jail were also dropped. The inmate was beaten by Green and four others, including accused murderer Christopher “Crazy Chris” Johnson.

Investigators believed that Green suspected the inmate was a confidential informant who provided police with information about threats that Green allegedly made to kill the state prosecutor and members of his family.

Green’s nine-year sentence was just slightly more than the minimum of eight to 17 years he faced.

Falls narcotics detectives said Green was going to receive the cocaine for his network from supply chains that reached to as far away as Atlanta and Cleveland.

During the course of the Green investigation, detectives seized over 300 grams of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $35,000.