Six Additional Defendants Indicted in Cocaine Conspiracy Stretching From El Paso, Texas To Buffalo
BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment charging six additional defendants with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine. Daniel Sterling, a/k/a Pancho, a/k/a Jose, Martin Lopez, Ivan Rene Rios Bustillos, Adrian Grier, Shamar Davi, a/k/a Fatboy, and Gabrielle McGrady. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.
Previously indicted were Eduardo Enrique Valdez, Edgar Pavia, Adrian Goudelock, a/k/a AD, a/k/a Ace, a/k/a Ace Boogs, Eric Young, Lance Parker, and Jai Hunter.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that according to the second superseding indictment and previously filed indictment and complaints, an investigation began following the seizure of approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine and $259,960 in U.S. currency. On October 3, 2017, defendants Valdez, Pavia, and Goudelock met in Cleveland, OH, prior to the shipment of a bulk quantity of cocaine from El Paso, Texas, to Buffalo, NY. On October 19, 2017, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents conducted a controlled delivery of 10 sham bricks of cocaine in Pembroke, NY, which resulted in the federal arrest of defendant Valdez.
In July 2018, investigators intercepted wire and electronic communications between defendants Pavia and Goudelock through court-authorized wiretaps. Intercepted calls and messages revealed that a bulk shipment of cocaine was to be imminently delivered to Goudelock in the Buffalo area. Goudelock was also expected to provide bulk drug proceeds. In a conversation on July 25, 2018, Pavia informed Goudelock that he would be receiving 17 kilograms of cocaine.
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That same day, law enforcement officers seized approximately 17 kilograms of cocaine from defendant Lance Parker during the execution of a search warrant. Law enforcement officers also searched a tractor trailer, driven by defendant Young, located on Slade Avenue in West Seneca, NY and recovered 52 shrink-wrapped and taped bundles of currency, predominantly in $10,000 bundles. In total, $519,580 in U.S. currency was seized from a bag. Officers also located a hidden compartment in the rear wall of the sleeper area of the tractor cab and recovered three plastic wrapped packages of bulk US currency totaling over $145,000.
In September 2018, investigators intercepted another series of wire and electronic communications between defendants Pavia and Goudelock discussing the shipment of another 20 kilograms of cocaine, which led to their arrests.
On December 5 and 6, 2018, investigators intercepted a series of wire and electronic communications between defendants Sterling and Lopez discussing plans for an exchange of bulk quantity cocaine in Louisville, KY. Lopez was observed operating a truck pulling a horse trailer, Rios-Bustillos was observed operating a pick-up truck with Mexican license plates, and Sterling was observed operating another pickup truck. After law enforcement observed Sterling and Lopez meet, the defendants were arrested. Simultaneously, Rios-Bustillos, who was parked nearby in his own truck not far from the meeting spot, left the scene on foot. Ultimately, Rios-Bustillos obtained a ride from two individuals, to whom he admitted that he had just delivered cocaine and that law enforcement was looking for him. After those individuals contacted the police, Rios-Bustillos was taken into custody.
During a search of Lopez’s horse trailer, officers recovered 20 kilograms of cocaine in a hidden compartment, as well as over $600,000 from a duffle bag in Sterling’s truck, and more than $100,000 from Sterling’s residence.
The second superseding indictment is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Unit, under the direction of Brian Manaher, Director, Marine Operations. Additional assistance was provided by the New York National Guard.
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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