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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Charge; His Brother Sentenced On Drug And Gun Charges

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Jonathan Ortiz, 23, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine, was sentenced to 57 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.  In a related case, his brother, Reynaldo Ortiz, 25, also of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin and use of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes before Judge Wolford. Those charges together carry a minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who is handling the cases, stated that in April 2015, law enforcement officers intercepted a package mailed from Puerto Rico to a residence on Hudson Street in Buffalo. The package contained a set of audio speakers. Four packets of cocaine, each weighing approximately one-eighth of a kilogram, were secreted inside the speakers. A controlled delivery of the package led to its retrieval by Jonathan Ortiz and another individual. The two were arrested after a sensor alerted officers that the package was opened.

Reynaldo Ortiz sold heroin and cocaine in the vicinity of Maryland Street and Trenton Avenue in Buffalo. At the time of his arrest in September 2015, he possessed a loaded AK-47-type rifle and two magazines containing 36 rounds of ammunition. Ortiz admitted to exchanging gunfire with a rival drug dealer over territory in the vicinity of Hudson Street and 7th Street.

The sentencing and plea are the result of investigations by the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, and the and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of under the direction of Inspector in Charge Shelly Binkowski.

Sentencing for Reynaldo Ortiz will be scheduled at a later date before Judge Wolford.

Updated August 25, 2016