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Justice News

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

Buffalo Man Arrested, Charged With Selling Deadly Heroin Mixture That Resulted In A Death

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Aaron J. McDuffie, aka “G”, 21, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with distribution of heroin and butyryl fentanyl causing serious bodily injury and death and possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, butyryl fentanyl. If convicted of causing serious bodily injury or death, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on June 27, 2015 at approximately 10:08 p.m., the Cheektowaga Police and the Forks Volunteer Fire Company responded to a possible drug overdose at an address in Cheektowaga. CPR and Narcan were administered to an individual identified as A.E. who was then transported to the hospital. A.E. did not recover and died on July 1, 2015. The Erie County Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death was acute combined butyryl fentanyl and morphine intoxication.

The complaint further states that during the subsequent investigation a family member gave Cheektowaga Police investigators A.E.’s cell phone which contained incriminating text messages regarding from whom A.E. may have obtained the drugs that killed him.  Specifically, the cell phone included the following series of outgoing and incoming texts from the A.E.’s phone to a particular number on the evening he overdosed:

•           Outgoing text: When are you getting that new (expletive)?

•           Incoming text: Got it, Got dat new fire bro.

•           Outgoing text: Where at

•           Incoming text: Under Bridge

•           Outgoing text: When, I got 100, where you at

The last outgoing text message was at approximately 7:32 p.m. There were also several exchanged telephone calls.

Subsequently, Cheektowaga Police investigators spoke with an individual identified as Cooperating Witness 1 (CW-1), a longtime friend of A.E. CW-1 told investigators that A.E. has been obtaining drugs from an individual known as “G.” CW-1 also stated that since A.E.'s death, G changed his telephone number.  Investigators also spoke with another individual identified as Cooperating Witness 2 (CW-2), another longtime friend of A.E., who stated that CW-2 spoke with “G” since A.E.'s death and that “G” was concerned for A.E. because “G” had given A.E.  some very good quality heroin and that “G” had warned A.E. to not use as much.

On November 30, 2015, an undercover Cheektowaga Police Detective (UC) arranged and conducted a purchase from McDuffie. The UC met McDuffie on Eagle Street in Buffalo and made a controlled purchase of butyryl fentanyl. Two similar undercover purchases were conducted on December 4, 2015, and February 16, 2016. Analysis once again determined that the substances purchased on those instances was butyryl fentanyl. In addition, during the course of the second purchase, McDuffie told the UC that his name was "G".

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and is being detained pending a detention hearing on December 7, 2016. During his initial appearance, the Government told the Court that McDuffie may be responsible for a second death within the last week. The results of toxicology testing are pending.      

The criminal complaint is result of an investigation by the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, 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.  

Updated December 5, 2016