March 21, 2019
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Hamburg man sentenced for drug conspiracy and threatening a witness
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Division and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Joseph C. Paternostro, 28, of Hamburg, N.Y., who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and distribution of, five kilograms or more of cocaine and retaliating against a witness, was sentenced to serve 132 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. In addition, the defendant was ordered to forfeit $200,000 in drug proceeds.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan A. Tokash and Charles J. Volkert, Jr., who handled the case, stated that on July 12, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and distribution of, five kilograms or more of cocaine. Shortly thereafter, Paternostro started writing letters from prison threatening to hurt or kill the victim who was a witness against the defendant in his drug case. The defendant was indicted in Sept. 2018 for the threats and pleaded guilty in December 2018.
Today’s sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the DEA's Buffalo Resident Office; the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force; and the Evans Police Department.
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