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Tonawanda man charged with drug distribution


BUFFALO -- James Nelson, 61, of Tonawanda, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, alprazolam and buprenorphine;  possession with intent to distribute marijuana; and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone, hydrocodone, butalbital, buprenorphine, and alprazolam. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that on two occasions on June 8, 2016, Buffalo Police Department Investigators completed  controlled undercover purchases of Alprazolam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, and Buprenorphine from Nelson.

On Dec. 11, special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Investigators of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Fayette Avenue residence in Tonawanda. Nelson was found in the living room area of the residence. Officers recovered oxycodone pills; acetaminophen pills containing butalbital; suboxone strips containing buprenorphine; suboxone pills containing buprenorphine; hydrocodone pills; alprazolam pills; crack cocaine; marijuana; two digital scales; and approximately $1,400 in U.S. currency.

The defendant is being held following a detention hearing this morning.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Tonawanda Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jerome Uschold and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.