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Press Release

Niagara Falls Man Pleads Guilty For His Role In Marijuana Conspiracy

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 Marquies McTyere, 30, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. 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. Attorney Misha A. Coulson, who is handling the case, stated that sometime in August 2020, the defendant and co-conspirators Samuel Zito and Alexander Schieppati, arranged for a shipment to be delivered to Freightboy Logistics in Niagara Falls, NY, from Canada. Unbeknownst to McTyere and his co-conspirators, on August 6, 2020, the shipment, which contained approximately 600 pounds of marijuana packaged in vacuum sealed bags, had been intercepted by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and was searched. The marijuana had been purchased by Zito and Schieppati from a source of supply in Canada, the two intended to distribute the marijuana in the Niagara Falls and Buffalo areas. The shipment was tracked by investigators and a controlled delivery was conducted on August 7, 2020. Co-defendant Schieppati picked up the shipment and brought it to a motel in Niagara Falls. McTyere, Zito and Schieppati were arrested, and investigators recovered $239,850 from a storage facility utilized by McTyere. The money was found in the vicinity of drug packaging materials and was packaged in vacuum sealed bags.

Defendant Schieppati was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against defendant Zito. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy, and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 1, 2021, before Judge Vilardo.  

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Updated June 23, 2021

Drug Trafficking