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Press Release

Buffalo Man Sentenced On Marijuana And Money Laundering Charges

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

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Raymond Lee, 50, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribute, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to 60 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who handled the case, stated that Lee was part of an operation that shipped at least 100 kilograms of marijuana, including by mail, from California for sale in the Buffalo area. The marijuana was then paid for by the deposit of U.S. currency into “funnel” bank accounts.

A search of an apartment in Hamburg, NY associated with the conspiracy in August 2013 uncovered 37 metal cans, sealed like canned vegetables in grocery stores, containing approximately 37 pounds of marijuana, each worth over $1,000. In addition, a  search of Lee’s residence uncovered over $38,000 in cash, as well as funnel account deposit slips and receipts. Law enforcement surveillance captured Lee repeatedly visiting the Hamburg apartment and sometimes retrieving cans. Undercover purchases of marijuana were also made directly from Lee.

Lee is the fifth defendant to be sentenced in this investigation. Defendants Mark Moodie, Wilfred Taylor, Oneil Bennett, and William Key have also been convicted and sentenced in this case.

The sentencing 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 James C. Spero, the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel, and the Hamburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gregory Wickett.

Updated June 29, 2016