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Buffalo man pleads guilty to heroin charge


BUFFALO -- Juan Oliverias-Arbello, 28, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution 100 grams or more of heroin before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George C. Burgasser, who is handling the case, stated that between July 2014 and September 28, 2015, the defendant conspired with Hector Carattini and others to distribute heroin on the West Side of Buffalo. The investigation utilized court ordered wiretaps as well as undercover purchases conducted by the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) and the Buffalo Police Department.

The 10 defendants charged in this case were street-level distributors or “runners” in a heroin trafficking ring operated by Daniel Molina-Rios who was arrested in June 2015 along with Orlando Rios, Luis Montanez and Jose Andujar. The organization acquired heroin from the New York City area for distribution in Buffalo but also had an alternate heroin source locally.

A total of 14 defendants have been indicted in this case. Oliverias-Arbello is the second to be convicted. Charges are pending against the remaining defendants. 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.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 5.