Father and Son Plead Guilty to Drug Charges
BUFFALO, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Eric De Leon-Navarro Sr., 46, and Eric De Leon, Jr., 27, both of Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges involving the trafficking of cocaine in Buffalo before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara. Eric De Leon, Jr. admitted to distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine. Eric De Leon-Navarro, Sr. admitted to distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine.
When sentenced, Eric De Leon, Jr. faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life. Eric De Leon-Navarro, Sr. faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 40 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who handled the case, stated this was a long-term investigation involving the use of confidential informants, wiretaps, surveillance and intercepted postal parcels. The defendants mailed kilogram quantities of cocaine via the United States Postal Service from Puerto Rico to family members in Buffalo. The family members, who have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing, then distributed the cocaine for profit.
The pleas are the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.