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Press Release

Montgomery County Felon Sentenced to 181 Months for Drug and Firearms Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Bernardo Tovar, age 34, of Amsterdam, New York, was sentenced today to 181 months in prison for engaging in a drug trafficking conspiracy, for possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl pills, cocaine, and methamphetamine, and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, and John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) made the announcement.

As part of his prior guilty plea, Tovar admitted that from May 2022 to December 2022, he conspired to distribute counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, as well as cocaine and methamphetamine. Tovar, who has a prior violent felony conviction for attempted robbery, also admitted to possessing fentanyl pills, cocaine, and methamphetamine, as well as a loaded handgun to protect his drugs and drug proceeds, on December 7, 2022, when law enforcement searched his apartment.

Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes also imposed an 8-year term of post-imprisonment supervised release.

Tovar’s alleged co-conspirator, Samuel Payano, was arrested on December 7, 2022, and charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (fentanyl). The charges against Payano remain pending and are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The DEA and ATF investigated this case, and Assistant United States Attorney Alexander P. Wentworth-Ping is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 16, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses