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Press Release

Orchard Park Man Pleads Guilty To Marijuana Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Kevin Judge, 65, of Orchard Park, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, marijuana, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that Judge was a drug trafficking associate of co-defendant Gary Wolch. Judge traveled to secure marijuana for the drug trafficking operation and coordinated with other associates and conspirators to obtain marijuana for distribution in the Western New York area. On August 16, 2019, Judge arrived at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, where he was approached by investigators at his gate and his bags were detained. After initial questioning, Judge was taken back to his vehicle in the parking lot. Once back in his vehicle, Judge contacted Wolch and said, “There’s a problem.” He then called other associates and co-conspirators. During the execution of a search warrant on Judge’s bags, law enforcement recovered $60,000 in U.S. currency and $40,000 in Western Union Money Orders. Judge admits he was attempting to go to Southern California with $100,000 to purchase marijuana. Charges are pending against Wolch.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Orchard Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Fitzgerald, and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 10, 2023, before Judge Arcara.

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Barbara Burns


Updated June 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking