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Press Release

Hamburg Doctor Pleads Guilty To Illegally Importing Heroin And Cocaine

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 James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dr. Torin Finver, 55, of Hamburg, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to importation of a controlled substance. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that on November 21, 2018, Customs and Border Protection officers examined a parcel at the Chicago, Illinois, post office addressed to “T Finver,” with a residence in Hamburg, NY. The parcel was from Germany and the sender information was fictitious. The package field tested positive for cocaine.
Subsequently, two similar packages addressed to the defendant sent from California were located by U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspectors in Rochester. One of the packages field tested positive for heroin, the other contained cocaine.
On December 15, 2018, during review of incoming mail in Hamburg, Postal Inspectors located a fourth parcel addressed to “T Finver.” On December 17, 2018, Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations arranged for a controlled delivery of the parcel. A U.S. Postal Inspector acting in an undercover capacity delivered the parcel and other mail addressed to “Torin FINVER.” After knocking on the front door, the Postal Inspector encountered the defendant and handed over the parcel and the mail. Finver was arrested at the scene.
During an interview with investigators, the defendant stated that he ordered “dark web” packages of heroin and cocaine from the Dream Market marketplace, seven times over two months. Finver used Bitcoin to pay for the narcotics.
“While Dr. Finver’s situation sadly illustrates just how powerful the disease of addiction can be,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy, “this prosecution is in furtherance of the national consensus—expressed in the federal law—which recognizes that the importation of illegal drugs is wrong and that their use is something that is also wrong and deeply destructive (as opposed to a choice like any other). While we fully support the continued expansion of treatment and prevention efforts, this Office will steadfastly uphold the rule of law, and in so doing, we will continue to seek to instill a sense of optimism which rejects the inevitability of addiction.”
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Boston Division Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin. Additional assistance was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Chicago, Illinois.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 20, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.  
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Updated April 12, 2022