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Press Release

Grand Jury Indicts Prior Federal Felon On New Drug Charges Along With Co-conspirator

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 Trini E. Ross announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Joseph S. Zaso a/k/a Joey Cracks, 38, of Buffalo, NY, and Denver J. Komenda, 47, of Jamestown, NY, with narcotics conspiracy. In addition, Zaso is charged with using and maintaining a drug-involved premises and distribution of fentanyl and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life. Komenda is also charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated according to the indictment, between September 2018, and May 2022, Zaso and Komenda conspired to possess and sell heroin and fentanyl. Zaso is also accused of using a residence on Locust Street in Jamestown to conduct drug trafficking activities, including the distribution of large quantities of heroin and fentanyl. Zaso was previously convicted of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan and sentenced to serve 60 months in prison. Zaso was on federal supervised release, which was transferred from Michigan to the Western District of New York, until July 2021.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division and the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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Updated June 7, 2022

Drug Trafficking