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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bronx Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Charge

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
 
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Edison L. Lantiqua, of Bronx, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine.

“This particular prosecution closes the pipeline of what can be fairly classified as a major source of heroin into this area,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Without accounting for any further additives, and at a dosage rate of one milligram per use, the seized drugs alone represent six million individual hits. Given the recent reports of overdoses attributable to this drug, today’s conviction also represents a positive step forward in improving the health of our region.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, who is handling the case, stated that on February 6, 2013, co-defendant Juana Diaz delivered six kilograms of heroin from the defendant to a confidential source working with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Diaz was given what she believed to be $376,000 in United States currency to return to Lantiqua in the Bronx. Diaz was pulled over by the New York State Police and the alleged proceeds were seized. Lantiqua was later arrested by the DEA in the Bronx.

Charges are pending against Juana Diaz. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 27, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated July 24, 2015