Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

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

June 11, 2018

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Man given five-year sentence for selling crack cocaine

(BUFFALO, NY) - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. and James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Division, announced that Raymond Hopson, 35, of Tonawanda, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, was sentenced to 60 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Violanti, who handled the case, stated that between July 28, 2016, and November 8, 2016, Hopson made several sales of crack cocaine to an undercover (UC) officer posing as a drug customer. During that time, the defendant was living with Niagara Falls Police Officer Stephanie Costanzo, at her residence on Grand Avenue in Niagara Falls. Hopson would store some of his cocaine, along with paraphernalia used to weigh and distribute the cocaine, at the residence. 

On November 9, 2016, Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with the Niagara Falls Police Department executed a search warrant at Costanzo’s residence. Agents and officers recovered approximately 5.6 grams of cocaine, a digital scale used for weighing and distributing the cocaine, and drug paraphernalia used to package and distribute the cocaine. Although she did not participate in the distribution of the controlled substances, Costanzo was aware that Hopson stored his cocaine and paraphernalia at her residence.

Hopson conspired with another co-defendant, Lindsay Carrier, to distribute crack cocaine. On five occasions between July 28, 2016, and November 8, 2016, Hopson obtained crack cocaine from Carrier and then sold it to an undercover officer. A search warrant executed at the Willow Avenue residence of Carrier’s mother, resulted in the seizure of quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine.

Costanzo and Carrier were previously convicted. Costanzo was sentenced to time served, and Carrier received 70 months in prison. 

Hopson’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Niagara Falls Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division.

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