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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Buffalo 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 Ronnie Ortiz, 40, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $1,000,000.00 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga who is handling the case, stated that on July 18, 2016, the United States Postal Inspection Service obtained a federal search warrant for a postal parcel that was addressed to 14 Warren Ave in Buffalo that was mailed from Canovanas, Puerto Rico. The search revealed that the parcel contained approximately nine ounces of cocaine. 
On July 20, 2016, an undercover U.S. Postal Inspector, acting as a U.S. Postal Service Mail Carrier, delivered the parcel which had been replaced with sham and an electronic transmitter that would alert agents to the opening of the parcel. The U.S. Postal Inspector was met by Ortiz who signed for the parcel and took it into the residence. Minutes later, the electronic transmitter indicated the parcel had been opened. Agents went into the residence and arrested the defendant. 
The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Shelly Binkowski, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Updated September 29, 2016