Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge

January 24, 2018

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Man Who Sold Drugs Across The Street From A School Convicted And Sentenced

BUFFALO, N.Y. - James J. Hunt, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA), and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that that Thomas Cox, 50, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school or playground, was sentenced to 24 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga, who handled the case, stated that in February 2017, law enforcement officers began an investigation into the cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana distribution activities of the defendant out of a residence at 45 A Street in Buffalo.

On March 3, 2017, officers conducted surveillance of the residence at 45 A Street and witnessed the defendant discussing the sale of cocaine with an individual. Cox was then observed getting into vehicle and driving a short distance to a residence at 325 Mills Street. After a few minutes inside, the defendant left the Mills Street residence and returned to the A Street residence. Cox was then observed selling a plastic sandwich bag containing a quantity of cocaine.

A few days later, on March 8, 2017, officers once again surveilled the A Street address and noticed traffic coming and going from the residence. Cox was observed exiting the front door of the residence and traveling once again to 325 Mills Street. Once again, the defendant eventually returned to the A Street residence and provided cocaine to another individual.

On March 10, 2017, officers executed a search warrant at 325 Mills Street and discovered a small safe in the attic area which contained $24,000 in cash, and a blue canvas bag containing two plastic baggies of suspected crack cocaine, a digital scale with drug residue, and numerous empty plastic sandwich bags. A search of 45 A Street revealed a large quantity of small Ziploc bags commonly used for packaging crack cocaine. A DVR video recording system which recorded the interior and exterior of 45 A Street was also seized. The defendant was found in 45 A Street and arrested.

The residences at 325 Mills Street and 45 A Street are located within about 230 feet and 72 feet of Buffalo Public School 59, The Science Magnet School located at 50 A Street.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Division; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Byron Lockwood; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy; and the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.

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