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Buffalo woman pleads guilty to cocaine conspiracy

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Maylin Santiago, 23, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Volkert, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that beginning in November 2017 and continuing until April 2018, the defendant conspired with others to possess with the intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. In January 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a controlled purchase of cocaine from Santiago.

On at least two occasions in March 2018, the defendant conspired with others to obtain, or attempted to obtain, postal packages from Puerto Rico that contained kilograms of cocaine. Investigators seized over four kilograms of cocaine sent from Puerto Rico to be distributed in the Buffalo area.

Santiago was charged along with co-defendant Rosa Merced who was previously convicted and awaiting sentencing on June 3, 2020.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the Boston Division; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 26, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.

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