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Geneva man arrested on cocaine charge at Peace Bridge


BUFFALO -- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Joel Torres Diaz, 29, of Geneva, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum term of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul C. Parisi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on May 12, 2017, the defendant attempted to enter the United States from Canada at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry. Diaz was referred for secondary inspection, and during that inspection, officers searched the 2001 silver Honda Civic that the defendant was driving and found three gray packages inside a shoebox. The packages contained approximately one kilogram of a white powdery substance, which field-tested positive for cocaine.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and is being held pending a detention hearing on May 22, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly.

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.