You are here

Justice News

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Three Men Sentenced In Major Cocaine Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Rafael Burgos, Alvin Torres, Jr., and Angel Pierluissi were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford for their roles in a Dunkirk, New York area cocaine conspiracy. Burgos, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to 75 months in prison. Torres and Pierluissi, who were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, were each sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that between 2013 and June 10, 2015, law enforcement officers investigated a drug trafficking organization led by defendants Burgos and David Jesus Pagan. During the course of that investigation, it was determined that the defendants distributed multiple kilograms of cocaine throughout the Dunkirk area.

Burgos, Torres, and Pierluissi were arrested in June of 2015 along with Samuel Hernandez III, Javier Pagan, Jr., and David Jesus Pagan. All six defendants have been convicted. Search warrants were executed at the time of the arrests at six properties which resulted in the recovery of more than seven kilograms of cocaine (the largest seizure ever in the City of Dunkirk) and approximately $175,000 in cash as well as an AR-15 assault rifle with a 30 round magazine. During a search of Burgos’ residence, officers discovered a secret room with a money counting machine. 

The sentencings are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Office; the Dunkirk Police Department, under the direction of Chief David C. Ortolano; the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace; the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb; and the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Patrick Swanson.

Updated January 13, 2017