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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Amherst Man Convicted Following Jury Trial Of Drug Offenses

CONTACT:       Barbara Burns 
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

     BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal jury in Buffalo has convicted Steven A. Knighton, 48, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine.  

     Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on March 13, 2009, the defendant was stopped by police in the parking lot of a local mall. New York State police had earlier stopped an individual in possession of seven kilograms of cocaine who then cooperated with the police and made phone contact with the defendant who was to pay for and receive two of the kilograms of cocaine. Inside the Knighton’s vehicle, officers located $41,000 in United States currency. It was determined that the money, which was shrink wrapped and found in the center console of the vehicle, was intended for the purchase of two kilograms of cocaine. Knighton was responsible for distributing more than 100 kilograms of cocaine in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area between January 2008 and March 2009.    

     The verdict is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), under the direction of Major Wayne C. Olson, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James S. Higgins, New York Field Division, the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack, the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey, and the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief Bryan DalPorto.

     Sentencing is scheduled for March 22, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, who presided over the trial of the case.

Updated December 9, 2014