Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

March 11, 2019

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

32-year-old man receives life in prison

Convicted on multiple drug charges and distribution of fentanyl causing death

BUFFALO, N.Y. –U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., and DEA New York Division Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan announced that Dontrell Wise, 32, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted following a federal jury trial of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, butyryl fentanyl, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute butyryl fentanyl; and distribution of fentanyl causing death, was sentenced to serve life in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that between mid-November of 2017 and Nov. 23, 2017, the defendant distributed fentanyl, which caused the death of a 28-year-old female in Cheektowaga, N.Y. The evidence at trial established that Wise sold approximately 10 grams of a substance containing fentanyl which ultimately was injected by the woman, resulting in her overdose death. Hours later, the Cheektowaga Police Department responded to the scene to find the victim dead, and a wax envelope with fentanyl residue left behind.


Two weeks earlier, on Nov. 9, 2017, the defendant was stopped by Buffalo Police officers in a rental vehicle with heavily tinted windows. Wise was found in possession of over $8,000 in cash, while a co-conspirator, Jerell Weathersby, had a quantity of butyryl fentanyl. The evidence further established that the defendant was a central member of a larger conspiracy crossing state lines involving the distribution of narcotics in both Buffalo, N.Y., and Bradford, Pa.             


Wise was arrested along with co-defendants Lemario Jones and Jerell Weathersby. Jones was convicted of distribution of a controlled substance and sentenced to 63 months in prison. Weathersby was convicted of possession with attempt to distribute butyryl fentanyl and sentenced to 21 months in prison. 


This sentencing is the result of an investigation by the DEA Buffalo Resident Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, the Buffalo Police Department and the Cheektowaga Police Department.


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