Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall , Special Agent in Charge

May 10, 2018

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Lockport Man Pleads Guilty To Selling Fentanyl

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. and James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA), New York Division, announced today that Joseph Thompson, 68, of Lockport, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing fentanyl. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a fine of $5,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan A. Tokash and Michael P. Felicetta, who are handling the case, stated that between June 2013 and September 2015, the defendant conspired with others to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.

On February 13, 2015, the Niagara County Drug Task Force conducted a controlled buy at Thompson’s residence on Elmwood Avenue. The drug sold by the defendant tested positive for fentanyl. On March 4, 2015, the task force conducted a second controlled buy at Thompson’s residence. The drug sold by the defendant during the second buy tested positive for heroin.

On March 10, 2015, a New York State search warrant was executed at Thompson’s residence. Law enforcement officers recovered approximately 88 grams of fentanyl, 60 grams of heroin, and 17 grams of crack cocaine. A digital scale, baggies, and $1,955.00 in cash were also seized.

During the course of the conspiracy, the defendant distributed various types of drugs to as many as 10 customers daily.

Thompson was one of 17 defendants indicted in August of 2016 for his role in a drug trafficking organization that utilized contacts and sources of supply from Mexico, California, and elsewhere. The organization trafficked thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine throughout the United States, including Lockport, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo. He is the third defendant to be convicted. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by the DEA, New York Division; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, New York Field Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 7, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

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