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Buffalo man pleads guilty to gun and drug charges

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Felix M. Velazquez, 43, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth T. Molisani, who is handling the case, stated that 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 had a large customer base in the Buffalo area. Velazquez conducted his distribution activities through his cellular phone, and at his apartment on Weyand Avenue in Buffalo.

On August 14, 2018, the Buffalo Police Department executed a New York State search warrant at the defendant’s Weyand Avenue residence. Officers recovered approximately 130 grams of cocaine; a digital scale; drug packaging materials; a .380 semi-automatic pistol, loaded with seven rounds; and $42,955.00 cash.

The plea 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 Ray Donovan, New York Field Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Arcara.

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