Two Connecticut Men Plead Guilty to Drug Charges
BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that Nelson Areizaga-Rosa, 37, and Ricardo Ortiz-Rosa, 41, both of Connecticut, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, an $8,000,000 fine, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, who is handling the case, stated that on March 17, 2011, the defendants were stopped for speeding by a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputy on I-86 in the Town of Ellicott. The defendants, who are cousins, were later arrested along with two other individuals.
Law enforcement officers subsequently discovered $60,000 in U.S. currency secreted in the spare tire of the vehicle the defendants were riding in, money that represented the proceeds from the sale of two kilograms of cocaine. Officers also seized more than a kilogram of heroin, a quantity of cocaine, and multiple firearms. An additional four defendants were also arrested. During a search warrant later executed at a residence in Campbell, Ohio, officers recovered another $205,000 in U.S. currency. Five vehicles were also seized during the course of the narcotics investigation.
The defendants entered guilty pleas as a jury trial on the charges was about to begin. They are expected to receive 15 years when sentenced in April 2013. All eight defendants in this heroin trafficking investigation now stand convicted.
The pleas are the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Lieutenant David Bentley, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Joseph Gerace, and the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Harry Snellings.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 1, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.