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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 28, 2021

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty For His Role In Cocaine Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Louis Gilbert, 43, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara 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 fine of $5,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Antoine and Laura A. Higgins, who are handling the case, stated that between July 2019, and January 10, 2020, the defendant conspired with others to sell cocaine. On January 10, 2020, Gilbert and co-defendant Saan Thompson engaged in a text communication regarding a drug sale. Thereafter, investigators set up surveillance in the vicinity of 189 May Street and observed Thompson and Gilbert meet inside of the residence. Afterwards, Erie County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle Gilbert was driving and he was found in possession of suspected cocaine.

Saan Thompson and another co-defendant Ronnie Charleston were previously convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against co-defendant Antoine Gilbert. 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 Safe Streets Task Force,  under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito.   

Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2021, before Judge Arcara.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated May 28, 2021