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Buffalo man faces at least 10 years after guilty plea in drug trafficking organization

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Quinton Jones, 39, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, five kilograms or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that between November 2016 and September 29, 2017, the defendant conspired with others to distribute cocaine in the South Buffalo area for a drug trafficking organization led by co-defendant Cesar Rivera-Figueroa.  On August 3, 2017, co-defendant Daniel Navarro obtained three kilograms of cocaine from co-defendant Luis Andino. At the direction of Rivera-Figueroa, Navarro distributed the cocaine to three others, including Quinton Jones. On August 18, 2018, Jones made payment of approximately $30,000 for this kilogram of cocaine.

On September 13, 2017, the drug trafficking organization received several parcels containing cocaine through the U.S. Postal Service. Rivera-Figueroa contacted Jones immediately upon receipt of the parcels to arrange for the defendant to pick up a kilogram and distribute it in the Buffalo area. On his way to collect the kilogram of cocaine, Jones was stopped by a marked Erie County Sheriff’s vehicle, and law enforcement found him in possession of $19,995 in U.S. currency.

Over the course of the defendant’s involvement in the conspiracy, Jones regularly distributed at least one kilogram of cocaine per month on behalf of the drug trafficking organization.

On September 29, 2017, the defendant was arrested inside his residence at 57 Juniata Street in Buffalo. A search warrant was executed and investigators recovered $4,023 in U.S. currency; a .22 caliber rifle with a defaced serial number; multiple rounds of ammunition; and a quantity of cocaine.

Jones is one of 12 defendants charged in this case and the eighth to be convicted.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.

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