Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

April 09, 2019

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

Niagara Falls man sentenced to 78 months for role in drug conspiracy tied to Sinaloa Cartel

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., and DEA New York Division Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan announced that Michael Mitchell, 38, of Niagara Falls, N.Y., who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan Tokash, who handled the case, stated that between June 2013 and September 2015, the defendant conspired with others to sell heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. Specifically, Mitchell received heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine base from co-defendant Troy Gillon for distribution to other dealers in the Lockport and Niagara Falls area.

 

Mitchell was charged along with 16 others who were members of a transnational drug trafficking organization, led by Herman E. Aguirre, that utilized contacts and a source of supply whose territory included Mexico, Arizona, California and elsewhere. The source of supply was the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. Other dispositions in the case include the following: 

 

  • Martha Aguirre was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Juan Alfaro was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Herman E. Aguirre was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Troy R. Gillon was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Jose Ruben Gil, aka Unc, aka Ruben Gil Campos, aka Mayor of Mexico, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Sonia Hernandez was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;  
  • Margaret Banuelos, aka Lisa, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Darryl J. Williams, aka D, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Trent Adair Hamilton was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Demetrius Yarborough, aka Tu, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Rashawn Crule, aka Black, aka Shawn, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Maulana Lucas, aka Big Daddy, aka Shabazz, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Shirley Grigsby was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Ralik Hamilton was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
  • Dion Cheatham was convicted and is awaiting sentencing; and
  • Joseph Thompson, aka Jo-Jo, aka Skools, aka Skoolboy, convicted and sentenced.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized over $5,000,000 worth of illegal narcotics, including 52.5 kilograms of cocaine, 17.5 kilograms of heroin and 8.5 kilograms of fentanyl. Using standard dosage amounts, the seized drugs potentially represented over 1,500,000 “hits” of cocaine, and 2,700,000 “hits” of heroin and, considering that two milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose, enough fentanyl potentially to kill over four million people.
 
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the DEA Buffalo Resident Office, New York Division; the Lockport Police Department; and the Niagara County Drug Task Force.
 

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