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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Buffalo Couple Charged With Selling Heroin

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Orlando Albert-Arroyo 24, and Genesis Tolentino-Cruz, 25, both of Buffalo, NY, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the prosecution of the case, stated that according to the complaint, in February 2019, Buffalo Police investigators began investigating the drug trafficking activities of the defendants. The investigation was initiated following a possible drug overdose death. 

In the early morning hours of February 27, 2019, first responders from the Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Fire Department, and AMR Ambulance were dispatched to the scene of a possible drug overdose. Upon arrival, they discovered an unresponsive 24 year old male. Medical personnel attempted resuscitation efforts but the victim was declared deceased. At the scene, investigators recovered four green wax envelopes commonly used to package heroin and a plastic straw with white powder residue.

Subsequent investigation determined that the victim's girlfriend was in contact with a phone number tied to the defendant’s on the day of the victim’s death. In addition, between March 30 and April 11, 2019, Albert­Arroyo and Tolentino-Cruz sold suspected heroin to an individual working with investigators on four separate occasions.

A search warrant was executed at the defendants’ residence and two AR style firearms and a quantity of suspected heroin were recovered.

Albert­Arroyo and Tolentino-Cruz appeared at a detention hearing before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo and were released on conditions.

The complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division.
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.  

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Drug Trafficking
Updated April 25, 2019