Fredonia Man Arrested, Charged with Selling Drugs that Led to Overdose Death
BUFFALO, NY - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division announced that John Wallace Buchanan, 36, of Fredonia, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with distribution of fentanyl causing death, narcotics conspiracy, and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that in the early morning hours of January 10, 2022, the Ellicott Police Department responded to a residence on Boulevard Avenue in Celoron, NY, for a death investigation. At the scene, law enforcement found an individual, identified as B.G., lying face down on the living room floor with signs of drug use nearby. The cause of death was listed as a potential overdose. A review of the contents of B.G.’s cell phone identified a Facebook Messenger conversation between B.G.’s Facebook account and the account of John Buchanan. Investigators subsequently identified multiple Facebook conversations, with B.G. wanting to purchase narcotic drugs from Buchanan, dating back to November of 2021, including a conversation just prior to B.G.’s death. Investigators also noted that following a review of Buchanan’s Facebook account, some messages between B.G. and Buchanan may have been deleted from Buchanan’s account. At the scene of B.G.’s death, officers recovered, among other things, ammunition and three firearms. Investigators learned that Buchanan was attempting to sell firearms to B.G. in December 2021. Investigators believe that B.G. and Buchanan also discussed firearms transactions in the conversation prior to B.G. death.
Buchanan was ordered detained following a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer.
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 complaint is the result of an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson, the DEA Buffalo District Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Quattrone, and the Ellicott Police Department, under the direction of Chief William Ohnmeiss Jr.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.