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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lockport Man Pleads Guilty For His Role In Narcotics Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Joseph Thompson, 68, of Lockport, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 40 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing fentanyl. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a fine of $5,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan A. Tokash and Michael P. Felicetta, who are handling the case, stated that between June 2013 and September 2015, the defendant conspired with others to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.

On February 13, 2015, the Niagara County Drug Task Force conducted a controlled buy at Thompson’s residence on Elmwood Avenue. The drug sold by the defendant tested positive for fentanyl. On March 4, 2015, the task force conducted a second controlled buy at Thompson’s residence. The drug sold by the defendant during the second buy tested positive for heroin.

On March 10, 2015, a New York State search warrant was executed at Thompson’s residence. Law enforcement officers recovered approximately 88 grams of fentanyl, 60 grams of heroin, and 17 grams of crack cocaine. A digital scale, baggies, and $1,955.00 in cash were also seized.

During the course of the conspiracy, the defendant distributed various types of drugs to as many as 10 customers daily.

Thompson was one of 17 defendants indicted in August of 2016 for his role in a drug trafficking organization that utilized contacts and sources of supply from Mexico, California, and elsewhere. The organization trafficked thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine throughout the United States, including Lockport, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo. He is the third defendant to be convicted. 

The plea 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; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 7, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Updated May 11, 2018