East Amherst Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For His Role In Multi-Million Dollar Illegal Narcotics Conspiracy
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Darryl Williams, 47, of East Amherst, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to serve 180 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan Tokash, who handled the case, stated that between June 2013 and September 2015, the defendant conspired with others to sell fentanyl and cocaine. Williams formed a relationship with co-defendant Jose Ruben Gil and agreed to distribute large amounts of drugs for Gil in Western New York and other cities. Gil, who was based out of California, requested that the defendant and co-defendant Troy Gillon meet with him in California on at least two occasions to arrange for the set-up and delivery of illegal narcotics to Buffalo and other cities. The defendant began receiving large shipments of cocaine via surface shipment on tractor-trailers, the proceeds of which were sent back to Gil via surface transportation.
On June 23, 2013, California Highway Patrol stopped a tractor-trailer in Barstow, California which resulted in the seizure of approximately $420,000 in United States Currency. The cash seized from this tractor¬ trailer constituted proceeds from the sale of heroin and cocaine, which the defendant was sending to Gil to pay for those illegal drugs.
Gil was arrested in California on January 13, 2014. Thereafter, Gil's associate, Herman Aguirre, continued the cross-continent drug trafficking operation with the defendant while Gil was in prison. After Gil's arrest, and at Herman Aguirre's direction, the defendant took the money from the proceeds of the drugs sales in Buffalo and other East Coast cities, brought it to Bank of America locations in Western New York, and deposited it into accounts held by three California-based corporations, including Triton Foods, Kamara Investments, and Fresh Choice Produce. Subsequent to those deposits, the principals of those three corporations engaged in further financial transactions for the purpose of withdrawing or otherwise debiting the funds from the bank accounts to give to Gil and/or Herman Aguirre to pay for the heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The transactions were designed to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under Federal law and while knowing that the property involved in the financial transactions represented the proceeds of unlawful activity, to wit, the unlawful sale of illegal narcotics.
In mid-July 2013, Herman Aguirre gave Williams his night deposit lock box key for the Bank of America branch located on Dick Road in Depew, NY. During the period from July 2013 to September 2014, the defendant engaged in numerous financial transaction whereby he deposited cash into the Dick Road branch lock box for the benefit of Triton Foods.
Because the quantities of drugs shipped were so large, and the proceeds so great, Williams invited others into the drug trafficking organization. The defendant introduced co-defendants Maulana Lucas and Troy Gillon to co-defendant Herman Aguirre, who was shipping the drugs from California. Lucas and Gillon then assisted with distributing the drugs, collecting proceeds from the same, and depositing proceeds from the same into banks located in Western New York. In the Western District of New York alone, Williams personally deposited a total of approximately $19,000,000 in cash into accounts.
Between July 15, 2014, and March 18, 2015, the defendant received 29 pallets of shipments of controlled substances from Herman Aguirre. Each pallet contained a combination of approximately 30-50 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.
Williams also directed Shirley Grigsby to accept packages of drugs at her places of employment, as well as the apartment in which she was living in. On March 23, 2015, Buffalo Police seized 22 kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of heroin, and eight kilograms of fentanyl at Shirley Grigsby's apartment.
In addition, the defendant had an apartment on Niemel Drive in Niagara Falls, NY where he stored kilogram quantities of drugs that were shipped from California.
On July 31, 2015, federal agents executed a search warrant on another home registered to the defendant, on Boca Place in East Amherst, NY. $43,940.00 in U.S. currency was seized from the premises, along with drug packaging material, bank deposit slips, and a key to a safety deposit box, which was subsequently opened and contained $31,000.00 in U.S. currency.
Williams was arrested in August 2016 along with 16 other defendants. All defendants have been convicted.
“Large scale transnational drug trafficking organizations such as this one serve as a pipeline to ensure the delivery of misery to our community,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “By completely dismantling them through highly successful and comprehensive prosecutions such as this, we help to remove not only drugs but the despair and harm they bring to the lives of those who both consume them and distribute them.”
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larson, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office.
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