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Press Release

Utica Men Found Guilty of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Abner Peralta and Luis Colon Trafficked in Kilogram-Quantities of Cocaine

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Abner Peralta, age 30, and Luis Colon age 35, both of Utica, New York, were found guilty yesterday of drug trafficking charges following a five-day jury trial in federal court in Utica, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Field Division.

Peralta and Colon were found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and the distribution of cocaine in the Utica area from October 2016 to October 2017. Additionally, Peralta was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute of 28 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine). The evidence at trial showed that Peralta and Colon conspired with each other and others to distribute cocaine in the Utica area and that Peralta, the head of the conspiracy, had access to kilogram-quantities of cocaine. The evidence also showed that Peralta maintained a drug “stash house” in Utica where he kept drugs and drug packaging materials. A fingerprint analyst testified that he found Peralta’s fingerprints on some of the packaging material seized from the stash location. The cocaine base Peralta possessed with the intent to distribute was found during a search warrant of his stash location in October 2017. Law enforcement officers also searched Peralta’s house and found multiple items in the garage that tested positive for cocaine residue, including a digital scale.

At sentencing, Peralta and Colon each face a maximum term of 40 years in prison for their offenses of conviction, and Peralta additionally faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years. They each face fines of up to $5 million and supervised release terms of between 4 years and life following their release from imprisonment. 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. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.

This case was investigated by the DEA with assistance from the New York State Police, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Rome Police Department, Utica Police Department, Cortland Police Department, Investigators from the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office; U.S. Border Patrol; and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael F. Perry and Thomas Sutcliffe.

Updated February 5, 2020

Drug Trafficking