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Press Release

Armed Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty

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

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Lazaro Aguilar, 20, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci. Jr. to possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a fine of $1,000,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Moynihan, who is handling the case, stated that Aguilar was arrested on February 16, 2018, after officers from the Rochester Police Department, who were patrolling the area of Murray Street and Lyell Avenue, saw the defendant driving a vehicle with excessively tinted windows in violation the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. After officers pulled the vehicle over, they identified Aguilar as the driver but he did not have a valid driver’s license. After ordering the defendant to exit the vehicle, officers searched Aguilar and found 32 small bags containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl in his pocket. Officers also recovered a loaded pistol from the defendant’s pocket. Aguilar stated that he had the handgun for his protection, and that he had been shot at earlier.

Aguilar was again arrested on September 30, 2019, with 23 additional bags of fentanyl, and over $5,000 in United States currency.  
The matter was brought by the United States Attorney’s Office as part of its Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative.  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 10, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Geraci.

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Updated January 6, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses