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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that John
A. Cruz, 26, of Buffalo, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio,
to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin. Cruz was arrested
along with 17 others in August of 2010 for narcotics trafficking. The drug conspiracy charge
against Cruz carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated
that Cruz was involved in a drug conspiracy which distributed illegal narcotics throughout
the Western District of New York. Specifically, the defendant sold heroin. Cruz was arrested
in August of 2010 along with 16 others. To date, eight of the defendants have been

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration,
under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, New York Field Division,
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge
Christopher M. Piehota, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security
Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, the Niagara
County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff James Votour, Internal Revenue
Service - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge Toni
Weirauch, and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Transit Police, under the
direction of Chief George Gast.

Updated November 18, 2014