BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Ivan Morales, 48, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra. Jr. to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and being a felon in possession of firearms. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and an $8,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Louis A. Testani and Casey Chalbeck, who are handling the case, stated that on October 13, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Morales’s Ideal Street residence and seized suspected marijuana, a digital scale, and approximately $2,546.00 in U.S. currency. They also searched a Shanley Street apartment associated with Morales and seized approximately 1.5 kilograms of cocaine of cocaine, 12 clear bags containing cocaine, suspected MDMA pills, eight firearms, numerous magazines and ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and 250 $100 bills, for a total of $25,000.00 in U.S. currency. In 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2020, Morales was convicted of felonies in state and federal court and is legally prohibited from possessing firearms.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 16, 2024, before Judge Sinatra.