Utica men sentenced for drug trafficking conspiracy
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Abner Peralta, 31, and Luis Colon, 35, both of Utica, New York, were sentenced today in federal court in Utica after previously being found guilty after trial of drug trafficking charges. Peralta was sentenced to serve 60 months in federal prison, followed by a 4-year term of supervised release and forfeiture of $650.00. Colon was sentenced to time served. The sentences were announced by Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, and Northern District of New York, United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith.
Earlier this year, Peralta and Colon were found guilty after a five-day jury trial in federal court in Utica of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in the Utica area from October 2016 to October 2017. The jury also found Peralta guilty of possession with intent to distribute of 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine). The evidence at trial showed that Peralta and Colon conspired with each other and others to distribute cocaine in the Utica area and that Peralta, the head of the conspiracy, had access to kilogram-quantities of cocaine. The evidence also showed that Peralta maintained a drug “stash house” in Utica where he kept drugs and drug packaging materials. During the trial, a fingerprint analyst testified that he identified Peralta’s fingerprints on some of the drug packaging material seized from the stash location. The cocaine base Peralta possessed with the intent to distribute was found during a search warrant executed at this location in October 2017. The evidence at trial also included testimony that law enforcement officers searched Peralta’s house and found multiple items in the garage that tested positive for cocaine residue, including a digital scale.
This case was investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with assistance from the New York State Police, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Rome Police Department, Utica Police Department, Cortland Police Department, Investigators from the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office; U.S. Border Patrol; and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and it was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael F. Perry & Thomas Sutcliffe.