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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Orchard Park Man Pleads Guilty To Drug And Gun Charges

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Felix Calderon-Valcarcel, 29, of Orchard Park, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and distribution of, five kilograms or more of cocaine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, a maximum of life, and a fine of $10,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that between May 2018 and September 2018, law enforcement officers conducted a series of controlled buys and payments from the defendant. In addition, between July 2018 and February 2019, officers seized approximately 8.5 kilograms of cocaine and $52,000 in U.S. currency from postal parcels shipped from Puerto Rico to various locations in the Western District of New York, Florida, Alaska, Georgia, and Pennsylvania using the United States Postal Service. The shipments were made to the defendant or to a co-conspirator. Additionally, the investigation identified $55,700 in U.S. currency and/or money orders shipped in parcels from the defendant or co-conspirators to Puerto Rico as payment to the source of supply for the cocaine

In March 2019, the Lackawanna Police Department obtained a state search warrant for Calderon-Valcarcel’s residence on East Abbott Road, his person, and his vehicle. On March 26, investigators conducted a car stop in advance of executing the search warrant for the defendant’s person. When investigators approached Calderon-Valcarcel, he was observed sitting in the driver’s seat counting approximately $10,000 of U.S. currency. The defendant was detained. A search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of approximately a kilogram of cocaine. Investigators then executed the search warrant of the defendant’s residence and recovered approximately four kilograms of cocaine and a 9mm firearm.

The defendant also directed co-conspirators to perform various tasks in furtherance of the objectives of the conspiracy, including taking receipt of packages, opening a P.O. box, purchasing money orders, mailing packages containing cash or money orders, and accepting cash payments from lower-level distributors and customers of the organization for drugs distributed by Calderon-Valcarcel.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Boston Division Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; The Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Orchard Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief E. Joseph Wehrfritz; the Lackawanna Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Michel; and the Hamburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gregory Wickett.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2020, before Judge Vilardo.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated October 8, 2019