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Press Release

Utica Man Indicted for Federal Drug and Gun Offenses

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Carlos Pena Uceta, age 33, of Utica, New York, was indicted today for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, made the announcement.

Pena Uceta was previously charged by a federal complaint on June 5, 2023.  He has been detained without bail since he made his initial appearance on June 5 before United States Magistrate Judge Miroslav Lovric.

The indictment and complaint allege that, on June 4, 2023, Pena Uceta possessed over 9 kilograms of cocaine with the intent to distribute.  The indictment also alleges that Pena Uceta possessed a 9mm handgun with no serial number (a “ghost gun”) with ammunition in furtherance of his drug trafficking crime. 

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

The charges filed against Pena Uceta carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, a fine of up to $10,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  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 United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is investigating the case with assistance from the New York State Police, the City of Utica Police Department, and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica N. Carbone is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses