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3 Buffalo men arrested in fentanyl conspiracy

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- Jose Alvarez, 26, Angel Cabrera, 25, and Wilfredo Cruz, Jr., 21, all of Buffalo were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute butyryl fentanyl. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott S. Allen, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on July 27, 2017, special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant on Alvarez’s Mazda 6 sedan. During the search, agents recovered 20 bags that contained butyryl fentanyl, a Schedule I controlled substance. The investigation determined that the defendants were staying at the hotel and casino located in Salamanca. Subsequently, a search warrant was executed at their hotel room and agents recovered another 196 bags that contained butyryl fentanyl. Alvarez is suspected of selling butyryl fentanyl on at least three prior occasions.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and were released on bail.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the NYS State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy; and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb. 

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.