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Buffalo man pleads guilty to gun, drug charges

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a Jay Neal, 39, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to eight counts including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more heroin, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin, maintaining a drug involved premises, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activity, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a defaced firearm before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 45 years, and a $5,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that on October 20, 2015, Neal sold a quantity of heroin to a confidential source working with the Drug Enforcement Administration. The following day, on October 21, 2015, Neal once again agreed to sell a quantity of heroin. Neal drove to a residence at 87 Mariner St. in Buffalo. About an hour later, Neal and co-defendant Quashawn Lawrence were arrested by police. At the time of his arrest, Neal was armed with a 9mm handgun and had $10,000 in cash. A search warrant executed inside 87 Mariner recovered two guns, ammunition, 10 grams of heroin inside a dresser drawer, and multiple scales.

In 1997, Neal was convicted in state court of Attempted Murder and Robbery in the 1st Degree.  As a result of his convictions, Neal is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Lawrence was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
The plea 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, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. before Judge Geraci.