Five Defendants Indicted For Selling Heroin And Fentanyl That Led To The Deaths Of Six Individuals
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a 23-count indictment charging four defendants with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Charged in the conspiracy are:
• Robert Moore, a/k/a Fonz, a/k/a Charmy, 39 of Williamsville, NY;
• Reese Moore, a/k/a Detroit, 25 of Buffalo; NY
• Kevin Abernathy, a/k/a B, 31 also of Buffalo; and
• Joshua Levine, 21 of Lancaster, NY.
Robert Moore is also charged with five counts of causing death from the distribution of heroin and/or fentanyl and 12 counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution, of heroin, fentanyl, and butyryl fentanyl. Joshua Levine is charged with one count of causing death from the distribution of heroin and fentanyl and two counts of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution, of fentanyl. The additional charges against Robert Moore and Joshua Levine carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $20,000,000 fine.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, Reese Moore (Robert’s brother) is charged with three counts of distribution of fentanyl and Kevin Abernathy is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl. Those charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, a maximum of life in prison, and a $10,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendants distributed heroin, fentanyl, and butyryl fentanyl for over two years in the City of Buffalo and surrounding areas. Many of the sales occurred on residential streets in Buffalo, in parking lots of businesses in Amherst and Lancaster, and several times at a local mall. The defendants are responsible for distributing thousands of doses of opiates and causing multiple overdoses, including the five charged deaths. The decedents include a 21-year-old Lockport woman, a 45-year-old Buffalo man, and three Lancaster men, ages 24, 31, and 36. All five were reportedly in treatment for their addictions when they relapsed and immediately overdosed from the potent fentanyl.
Robert Moore was arrested on March 16, 2017, after authorities executed a search warrant at his home on Glenwood Drive in Williamsville. Law enforcement officers recovered 200 doses of fentanyl inside the residence. Over $49,000 in cash, over $440,000 in jewelry, and a 2009 Audi S5 Quattro were also seized from Moore’s residence.
Levine was also arrested on March 16, 2017 following the execution of a search warrant at his residence on Aurora Street in Lancaster. Officers recovered 26 doses of fentanyl inside his residence.
Robert Moore and Joshua Levine have been detained since their arrest in March 2017. Reese Moore and Kevin Abernathy were arraigned this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy. They are being held pending a detention hearing on April 17, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder.
In a separate case, a federal grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment charging Oliver Kimmons, a/k/a Ollie, a/k/a Ali, 49, of Lockport NY, with distribution of fentanyl causing death, conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, possession of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine with intent to distribute, maintaining two drug-involved premises and human sex trafficking. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $20,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan Tokash, who is handling the case, stated that according to the second superseding indictment, on January 30, 2015, the defendant distributed fentanyl which resulted in the death of an individual identified as “H.C.”
Kimmons was previously indicted on other drug and sex trafficking charges. According to the previous indictment, over the course of three years, the defendant solicited young, opiate-addicted women to have sex with paying customers. In exchange, Kimmons provided the victims with drugs. The defendant drove the victims to farms, dairies, and Indian Reservations in Western New York where they engaged in sex acts with paying customers. Kimmons collected the money from customers and then “paid” his victims in heroin. The defendant also had sex with the victims in exchange for drugs.
“All told, at least six people lost their lives as a result of the conduct charged in these indictments,” said U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Not only did those charged with causing the deaths of others peddle their poison for profit, but they did so by preying upon some of the most vulnerable members in our community. That makes them predators, and it is my Office’s job to work with our federal, state, and local partners in law enforcement, as we did here, to remove predators from our community.”
“This indictment is a significant step in bringing drug dealers to justice for causing overdose deaths as a result of their illegal actions,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt. “I commend the men and women who worked diligently on this investigation.”
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach stated, “The New York State Police and our Community Narcotics Enforcement Team remain committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to identify dealers, put them out of business and to send a clear message to anyone trafficking these dangerous and deadly drugs - you will be found, you will be prosecuted, and you will go to prison.”
Amherst Police Chief John Askey stated, “Our communities, families and friends continue to suffer as the result of the opiate epidemic. This case demonstrates the determination and commitment of law enforcement at all levels in Western NY. We will aggressively investigate, arrest and prosecute those individuals and groups that deal and profit while knowing the devastating effects of their actions. Congratulations to the law enforcement professionals and prosecutors for your outstanding work.”
These indictments are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Division; the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John C. Askey; the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), under the direction of Major David Krause, and Lieutenant Kevin Reyes; the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gerald J. Gill, Jr.; the Buffalo Police Department Narcotics Squad, under the direction of Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood; the Lockport Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Niethe; the Depew Police Department, under the direction of Chief Stan Carwile; the Niagara County Sherriff’s Office and the Niagara County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff James Voutour; the Erie County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in Charge Kevin Kelly.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.