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Press Release

Two Syracuse Men Indicted for Heroin and Gun Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Defendants Charged with Federal Drug Conspiracy and Possession of Firearms

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Jose Matos, age 29, and Jeremias Matos, age 28, both of Syracuse, were arraigned yesterday on an indictment charging them with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and for possessing a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  Jeremias Matos is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler.

The indictment charges both defendants with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin from approximately August 2012 until April 2015.  The indictment also charges Jose Matos individually with possessing a .45 caliber handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The indictment further charges Jeremias Matos individually with illegally possessing a .45 caliber handgun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, the defendants each face at least 5 years and up to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $5 million, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 4 years and up to life, in connection with the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin charge. Both men face potential consecutive sentences of 5 years in prison if convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Jeremias Matos also faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The defendants were arraigned yesterday in Syracuse, New York, before United States Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks, who ordered them detained pending a trial scheduled for January 16, 2018.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Syracuse Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Levine.

Updated November 22, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses