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Press Release

Buffalo man sentenced for his role in narcotics conspiracy that led to an overdose death

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Steven Gonzalez a/k/a Steven Hernandez, a/k/a Steve, a/k/a Stevie, a/k/a Unc, 47, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of narcotics conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 188 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Gonzalez was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $7,058.60 to the family of overdose victim L.K.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who handled the case stated that between June 2019, and September 2019, Gonzalez conspired with others to sell heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl. During the conspiracy, Gonzalez sold quantities of heroin and fentanyl for profit, with the assistance of a known co-conspirator identified CC-1.  CC-1 arranged drug deals and drove Gonzalez to drug deals, and Gonzalez provided CC-1 with heroin/fentanyl for CC-1’s personal use.  On July 17, 2019, CC-1 made a controlled call to Gonzalez regarding CC-1’s sworn testimony related to the overdose of a person identified as L.K. CC-1 told Gonzalez that CC-1 believed that investigators did not believe CC-1’s false story accusing a source of supply named “Freddy.” Gonzalez told CC-1 to “stick to the same story that you’ve been telling them.” On September 24, 2019, investigators executed a search warrant at West Avenue residence, during which they recovered approximately 19 grams of heroin from Gonzalez’s possession.  Gonzalez utilized the West Avenue residence to facilitate his drug trafficking activities.

In April 2022, Gonzalez was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking by coercion, and drug distribution charges. Those charges remain pending.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eugene Staniszewski, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.

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Barbara Burns


Updated December 21, 2023

Drug Trafficking