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Press Release

Syracuse Man Sentenced to More Than Ten Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy and for Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Omar Fuentes, age 26, of Syracuse, was sentenced yesterday to a total of 121 months in prison for his involvement in a conspiracy involving the distribution of heroin and cocaine, and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of that conspiracy.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Frank A. Tarantino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, and Chief of Police Joseph Cecile, Syracuse Police Department. 

As part of his previously entered guilty plea, Fuentes admitted that between May and September 2020, he conspired with others to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Syracuse area.  The defendant also admitted that on September 16, 2020, he possessed a loaded semi-automatic handgun and a quantity of heroin he intended to distribute.

Fuentes was one of 13 defendants charged and convicted in connection with the investigation which revealed that these defendants were involved in bringing kilogram quantities of heroin and cocaine to Syracuse from New York and Puerto Rico and then redistributing the drugs throughout the Syracuse area.  During the investigation, law enforcement seized multiple kilograms of cocaine as well as significant quantities of heroin, numerous firearms, and large sums of United States currency.

United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also ordered Fuentes to serve a four-year term of supervised release following his release from prison.

The other defendants convicted in this and other related cases, and the sentences they received, are listed below:


Prison Term

Jobany Tirado

135 months

Angel Negron-Collazo

120 months

Joel Franco-Ortiz

85 months

Rahfet Shehadeh

57 months

Samuel Matos

100 months

Luis Mendez

70 months

Helbert Calo-Birriel

70 months

Luis Resto

60 months

John Resto

60 months

Hector Santiago

24 months

Jose Medina

Time served (12 months)

Jikeya McBride

27 months

Jonathan Cornier

10 months

These cases were investigated by the by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Syracuse Police Department, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Investigators from the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the New York State Police, and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicolas Commandeur and Adrian LaRochelle, and former Assistant United States Attorney Sahar Amandolare.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated March 2, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses