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California man sentenced on drug charge involving over 200 pounds of cocaine

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Armando Ernesto Abarca, 22, of Modesto, California, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to 168 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who handled the case, stated that between September 2014 and September 2016, the defendant conspired with others to possess and distribute cocaine. Specifically, Abarca utilized a storage unit in Amherst, NY to store 43 kilograms of cocaine. The defendant also distributed approximately 50 kilograms of cocaine in Columbus, OH, during the course of the conspiracy.

Charges remain pending against co-defendant Raul Everado Ledesma Abarca. 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. 

The sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; Immigration and Custom Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office. Additional assistance was provided by ICE-HSI in Los Angeles, California.