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Lockport men sentenced for their roles in drug trafficking organization

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Darius Dix, 27, and Kurtis Washington, 27, both of Lockport, NY, who were convicted of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, were sentenced to serve 72 months and 96 months respectively in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that between May 2016 and June 2017, Ramone Westbrook operated a high traffic and extremely profitable cocaine and crack cocaine distribution network. Westbrook obtained cocaine and crack cocaine from several sources of supply in Atlanta, Georgia, North Carolina and New York City and from a local source of supply in Niagara Falls. Westbrook then supplied co-defendant Rico Freeman for further distribution in the Lockport area during the course of the conspiracy. Dix and Washington were also part of the drug trafficking organization, distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in the Lockport area.

On February 14, 2017, Dix sold a quantity of cocaine to a confidential informant working with law enforcement officers. He was arrested on December 27, 2016 by Lockport Police officers who recovered 10 grams of cocaine from Dix.

On four occasions between March 3, 2017, and May 11, 2017, Washington sold cocaine to a Niagara County Drug Task Force confidential source. Washington was arrested by Buffalo Police officers on June 19, 2017. He was in possession of 26 grams of cocaine Washington tried to flee during a pat-down search and attempted to discard the cocaine.

Ramone Westbrook and Rico Freeman were previously convicted.

Today’s sentencings are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, Special Agent Shane Nastoff, and Task Force Officer Eric Herrington; the Lockport Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Steven Preisch; the Niagara County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff James Voutour; the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief Bryan DalPorto; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood. Additional assistance was provided by the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek.