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Press Release

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Conspiracy

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

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Saan Thompson, 41 a/k/a Duke, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five  years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.    

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Higgins and Richard Antoine, who are handling the case, stated that between July 2019, and January 10, 2020, the defendant conspired with others to sell cocaine. Thompson utilized a residence at 189 May Street in Buffalo to store and distribute bulk quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine base to other individuals, including co-defendants, Louis Gilbert, Antoine Gilbert, and Ronnie Charleston. The defendant also stored proceeds of his drug trafficking activities at his Shirley Avenue residence in Buffalo.

On August 5, 2020, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s residence. Investigators seized $28,355 in cash, approximately 234 grams of marijuana, and a digital scale. That same day, investigators also executed a search warrant at 189 May Street and seized 1,000 grams of cocaine, five bags of crack cocaine, two additional bags of cocaine, a digital scale, packaging and drug-processing materials.
Charges remain pending against Louis Gilbert, Antoine Gilbert, and Ronnie Charleston. 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 result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

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Updated January 12, 2021

Drug Trafficking