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Press Release

Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Distribute Heroin

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 Jeannette Knightner, 34, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin within 1,000 feet of public housing authority property. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of one year in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a fine of $2,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White, who is handling the case, stated that in June of 2014, the defendant agreed with Reginald Royal, Sr. to store heroin at her previous residence at 31 Olcott Lower in Lackawanna. On June 11, 2014, Reginald Royal, Sr. sold $100 worth of heroin to a confidential informant at Royal, Sr.’s residence at 1 Olin Lane which is part of the Baker Homes Public Housing Projects, a public housing facility owned by the Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority. The heroin sold to the confidential informant was retrieved from the defendant’s residence.

In addition, at the request of co-defendant Royal, Sr., on June 17, 2014, the defendant drove to Columbus, Ohio with another individual and purchased 23.5 grams of heroin for $2,200 that Royal, Sr. had provided to her. On June 18, 2014, as Knightner was driving back to New York, she and the other individual were pulled over by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office near Angola, NY and the heroin was discovered in the defendant’s purse.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Adam S. Cohen, Special Agent in Charge, the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of James L. Michel, Chief of Police, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Timothy B. Howard, Sheriff.  

Sentencing is scheduled for August 31, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.

Updated May 18, 2016