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Press Release

Jamestown Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy For His Role In Narcotics Ring Operating In Jamestown And Buffalo

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York


BUFFALO, NY--U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Brian Cessna, 63, of Jamestown, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in, a maximum of life, and a fine of $10,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that during the course of the conspiracy, Cessna bought and sold heroin and fentanyl, for profit and his own use. He also assisted co-conspirator Holly Berenguer in selling heroin and fentanyl, for profit and her own use, delivering on her behalf and collecting payments. An individual known as “Joey Cracks” (co-defendant Joseph Zaso) was Berenguer’s source of supply. Cessna utilized his Fairview Avenue residence for drug trafficking purposes, and also allowed Berenguer to utilize the residence to sell drugs.

Holly Berenguer and co-defendants Denver Komenda and Richard Philbrick were previously convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against co-defendants Joseph Zaso, Brandon Andino, Justin Yuchnitz, and Kylie Lewis.

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 plea is the result of an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Quattrone.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 9, 2024, before Judge Vilardo.      

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Barbara Burns


Updated August 23, 2023

Drug Trafficking