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Monday, September 18, 2017

Lockport man charged with heroin death

All WNY News     Monday, September 18, 2017    

STAFF REPORTS



BUFFALO -- A federal grand jury has returned and indictment charging Pablo Lugo III, 22, of Lockport, with distribution of fentanyl causing death. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, on March 28, 2015, the defendant provided heroin to a 22-year-old female victim, which resulted in her death.

Acting U.S. Attorney Kennedy noted that, “[e]arlier this week, Attorney General Sessions stated that, ‘The first and most important job of any government is to protect the safety and the rights of its citizens. The first civil right is to be alive.’"  Kennedy continued, “[s]adly, the consumption of opioids is robbing many individuals of that first and most important civil right—the right to live—at an alarming rate. Today’s indictment is a reminder that this Office will continue to do all that it can to protect the lives and rights of all of our citizens, including those that struggle with addiction.”

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James Hunt stated, “This arrest sends a warning to both the drug dealer and drug users. Drug traffickers are reminded that enhanced charging penalties apply if an overdose death results from their illegal drug sales. And users are forewarned that today’s heroin harbors highly potent opioids that can cause instantaneous death.”

The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and is being held pending a detention hearing.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; the Niagara County Drug Enforcement Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff James Voutour; and the Lockport Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Niethe.

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.

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