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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Friday, October 7, 2016

Jury Convicts Buffalo Man On A Cocaine Charge

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a federal jury has convicted Alexis Javier Centeno-Baez, 22, of Buffalo, NY, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine and attempt to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wei Xiang and Brendan T. Cullinane, who are handling the case, stated that on August 24, 2015, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted a package shipped from Puerto Rico to an address in Buffalo. A search warrant was executed and revealed two individually wrapped kilograms of cocaine stuffed inside a LEGO box. During a controlled delivery, Centeno Baez went to the address and retrieved the package. When Drug Enforcement Administration Agents approached to arrest him, the defendant left the package in his car and fled on foot.  Agents pursued Centeno Baez and apprehended him about three blocks away.

The conviction is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, and the United States Postal Service Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Shelly Binkowski.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 9, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, who presided over the trial of the case.

Updated October 11, 2016