Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Gun Charges
BUFFALO, NY -U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Esteven Matos, 31, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas T. Cooper and Joshua A. Violanti, who are handling the case, stated that on October 30, 2020, a federal search warrant was executed on a USPS Priority Mail Parcel addressed to “Antonio Cortes 1326 ELECTRIC Ave. LACKAWANNA, NY 14218.” The package contained one kilogram of cocaine. On November 3, 2020, the parcel, the contents of which were replaced with “sham,” was delivered to 1326 Electric Avenue and taken inside by a co-defendant. A short time later, investigators conducting surveillance observed defendant Matos arrive at the residence. After Matos arrived, the parcel was opened. A search warrant was then executed at the residence. Investigators seized two loaded firearms, one of which was stolen, approximately 260 grams of fentanyl, 1,451 pills containing methamphetamine, the kilogram of “sham” cocaine, digital scales, sandwich baggies, five cell phones, and over $63,000 in US currency, which constituted proceeds from Matos’s illegal narcotics sales.
Matos was previously convicted of felony offenses in 2010, 2011, and 2015, and is legally prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Boston Division Inspector-in-Charge Ketty Larco Ward, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 17, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Sinatra.
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