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Press Release

Niagara Falls man pleads guilty to cocaine charge after leading police on a brief car chase

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Jonathan Bersani, 32, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis A. Testani, who is handling the case, stated that on April 14, 2023, law enforcement attempted a traffic stop on Bersani’s vehicle. However, instead of yielding to law enforcement, Bersani drove into the civilian vehicle in front of him, pushing the vehicle approximately 10 feet forward, and then into the law enforcement vehicle behind him, causing significant damage to all three vehicles. Bersani then fled in his vehicle, and, ultimately, on foot after his vehicle was rendered inoperable. Bersani was ultimately apprehended and, within close range of his path of flight, law enforcement recovered a black bag containing approximately 183 grams of cocaine. Bersani was also in possession of $3,266 in cash. Later that day, a search warrant was executed at Bersani’s residence, during which another 27 grams of cocaine, and drug paraphernalia were seized.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Niagara County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff Michael Filicetti and Homeland Security Investigations BEST Team, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

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Barbara Burns


Updated May 22, 2024

Drug Trafficking