Buffalo men plead guilty to concaine charges
BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Michael Smerka, 56, James Simmons, 38, and Timothy Borkowski, 46, all of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. McCabe, who is handling the case, the defendants purchased cocaine at an auto shop on Broadway Street in Sloan. The men then sold the cocaine to a network of customers in the Buffalo and Cheektowaga areas.
The guilty pleas follow a lengthy investigation into drug-trafficking in Cheektowaga and Buffalo's East Side which resulted in the arrests of ten defendants in June 2011. To date, seven defendants have been convicted.
"This is second significant criminal organization convicted in two days," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "One tried to take over a business, the other a neighborhood. In both cases, law enforcement working with the community removed the threat. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue such organizations."The pleas are the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, and the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.