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Press Release

Leader Of Jamestown Drug Organization Pleads Guilty To Selling 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 Sigfredo Martinez, 47, of Celeron, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Higgins and Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who are handling the case, stated that beginning in early 2016, the defendant led a drug organization responsible for distributing heroin and cocaine in the Jamestown, NY area. The defendant appointed co-defendant Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez to be responsible for the “day shift” transactions, while his co-defendant, Alex Mercado, distributed during the “night shift.”

Every few days, Martinez would distribute a couple hundred bundles of heroin each to Ferrer-Vazquez and Mercado who were then tasked with distributing the heroin to smaller dealers and users. The proceeds were collected by an uncharged co-conspirator, who turned over the proceeds to the defendant. Martinez utilized a second uncharged co-conspirator to distribute quantities of cocaine and heroin.

Between February 11, 2016, and March 2, 2017, investigators conducted at least eight controlled purchases of heroin or cocaine from Ferrer-Vazquez and Mercado.

On April 6, 2017, a federal search warrant was executed at Martinez’s residence at 32 E. Duquesne Street in Celeron. Investigators seized nine cellphones, two electronic tablets, a laptop computer, a notebook, and a GPS device.

The same day, another search warrant was executed at 385 Buffalo Street in Jamestown. Investigators seized 19 cellphones, a quantity of suspected cocaine, a quantity of suspected heroin, $2,994 U.S. currency, three ledger notebooks, and a scale. A loaded semi-automatic handgun was found in the detached garage.

The FBI Cryptanalysis & Racketeering Records Unit performed an analysis on the ledgers and several loose pieces of paper recovered. The analysis determined that the organization was distributing “bundles” of heroin for a price of $75-80. Further, the analysis found that “on January 28, 2016 and between June 22, 2016 and April 5, 2017, the business distributed a minimum total of 8,106 bundles of heroin to approximately 28 separate accounts for a minimum total of $83,150.” 8,000 bundles equates to approximately eight kilograms of heroin.

Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez and Alex Mercado were previously convicted. Ferrer-Vazquez is awaiting sentencing. Mercado was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division, the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings, and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 26, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

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Updated August 21, 2019

Drug Trafficking