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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Niagara Falls Man Sentenced For Selling Heroin

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Mitchell, 38, of Niagara Falls, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan Tokash, who handled the case, stated that between June 2013 and September 2015, the defendant conspired with others sell heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine. Specifically, Mitchell received heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine base from co-defendant Troy Gillon for distribution to other dealers in the Lockport and Niagara Falls area.

Mitchell was charged along with 16 others who were members of a transnational drug trafficking organization, led by Herman E. Aguirre, that utilized contacts and a source of supply whose territory included Mexico, Arizona, California, and elsewhere. The source of supply was the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. was the leader of the organization. Other dispositions in the case include the following: 

• Martha Aguirre was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
• Juan Alfaro was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
• Herman E. Aguirre was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
• Troy R. Gillon was convicted following a jury trial and is awaiting sentencing;
• Jose Ruben Gil, a/k/a Unc, a/k/a Ruben Gil Campos, a/k/a Mayor of Mexico, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Sonia Hernandez, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;  
• Margaret Banuelos, a/k/a Lisa, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Darryl J. Williams, a/k/a D, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Trent Adair Hamilton, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Demetrius Yarborough, a/k/a Tu, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Rashawn Crule, a/k/a Black, a/k/a Shawn, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Maulana Lucas, a/k/a Big Daddy, a/k/a Shabazz, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Shirley Grigsby, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Ralik Hamilton; was convicted and is awaiting sentencing;
• Dion Cheatham, was convicted and is awaiting sentencing; and
• Joseph Thompson, a/k/a Jo-Jo, a/k/a Skools, a/k/a Skoolboy, convicted and sentenced.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers seized over $5,000,000 worth of illegal narcotics, including 52.5 kilograms of cocaine; 17.5 kilograms of heroin; and 8.5 kilograms of fentanyl. Using standard dosage amounts, the seized drugs potentially represented over 1,500,000 “hits” of cocaine, and 2,700,000 “hits” of heroin and considering that two milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose, enough fentanyl potentially to kill over four million people.

The sentencing 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 Lockport Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Steven Preisch; and the Niagara County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff James Voutour.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated April 9, 2019