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Buffalo men face federal charges in separate VA incidents

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  • Staff Report 

In Buffalo federal authorities have announced charges against two local men in separate incidents involving threats and violence against VA Medical Center personnel. U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross disclosed the charges, highlighting the serious legal consequences of such actions.

Demont Coston, 56, faces charges for threatening to blow up VA Medical Centers in Buffalo and Washington, D.C. His threats, made during a September 12, 2023, call to the Veterans Crisis Line, led to a maximum penalty possibility of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. After making the threats, Coston was located in Maryland, having extended his threats to the Washington, D.C., facility as well.

In a separate incident on February 7, 2024, Steven Iverson, 26, was charged with resisting arrest causing bodily injury to federal police officers at the Buffalo VA Medical Center. The altercation, which began over a suspected smell of marijuana from Iverson’s vehicle, resulted in physical injuries to two officers, including a sprained wrist, a sprained knee, and a chipped tooth. Iverson could face up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Both cases, stemming from investigations by the VA Medical Center Police and the VA Office of Inspector General, underscore the federal commitment to ensuring the safety of its healthcare facilities and personnel. The incidents serve as a stark reminder of the consequences of threatening or engaging in violence within federal institutions.