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Justice News

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

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Selling Thousands Of Bags Of Heroin

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Emmanuel Lopez, 27, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, 100 grams or more of heroin. 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. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that between 2016 and December 5, 2017, the defendant sold heroin and fentanyl in the Buffalo area. In October, 2017, the ICE-HSI Border Enforcement Security Team (BEST) conducted two controlled purchases from Lopez. During the buys, the defendant turned over 52 small yellow bags which later tested positive for heroin, fentanyl, and tramadol. 

At other times in October and November 2017, HSI agents observed Lopez engage in hand-to-hand transactions with suspected heroin customers. On at least one occasion, one of the customers was stopped by law enforcement and found to be in possession of suspected heroin. During a subsequent interview, the customer admitted to buying heroin from the defendant and the customer’s phone contained the defendant’s cell phone number.

Lopez was arrested on December 5, 2017. HSI agents then executed a federal search warrant at the defendant’s residence on Riverside Avenue in Buffalo. At the time of Lopez’s arrest, agents found $2,556 in cash in the pocket of the defendant’s sweatshirt, and his cellular telephone.

A subsequent search of the defendant’s cellular telephone established that during the latter part of 2017, Lopez sold approximately 6,022 bags of heroin.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Border Enforcement Security Team, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 25, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. before Judge Wolford.

Updated June 8, 2018