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Felon arrested on drug, gun charges

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Felix M. Velazquez, 42, of Buffalo, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute 28 or more grams of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in June 2018, the Lackawanna Police Department Narcotics Unit began investigating the narcotics trafficking activities of the defendant, a mid-level street cocaine distributor who has a large customer base in the Buffalo area. Velazquez allegedly conducted his distribution activities through his cellular phone, and at his apartment on Weyand Avenue in Buffalo.

On August 14, 2018, Lackawanna and Buffalo police officers executed a search warrant at the residence and seized $ 42,955 in cash, approximately six ounces of suspected cocaine, and one firearm, a loaded .380 pistol. Officers also seized two digital scales commonly used to weigh cocaine, and plastic baggies commonly used to package cocaine.

In September 2011, Velazquez was convicted in federal court of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and sentenced to 12 months in prison. As a result, the defendant is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and was released.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.