Dunkirk Man Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Charge
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross and Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division announced today that Hector Santos-Morales, 32, of Dunkirk, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that in June 2020, a United States Postal Inspector executed a federal search warrant on a parcel from Puerto Rico addressed to “Hector D. Santos” on Beaver Street in Dunkirk, NY. During the search, the Postal Inspector seized approximately one kilogram of suspected cocaine. On June 29, 2020, investigators replaced the cocaine with “sham” and conducted a controlled delivery of the parcel to the Beaver Street address. After a device inside the parcel alerted investigators that it has been opened, law enforcement approached the residence and took Santos into custody.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, the DEA Buffalo District Office, and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 2, 2022, before Judge Vilardo.