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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 26, 2015

Tonawanda Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Importation Charge

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Peter Viera, 22, of Tonawanda, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import methylone, a Schedule I controlled substance, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank T. Pimentel, who is handling the case, stated that between December 1, 2011, and May 22, 2013, the defendant ordered approximately $60,000 worth of methylone from China as part of the conspiracy to import and sell methylone in Western New York. On May 31, 2013, Viera was parked in a car across from the LaSalle Post Office in Niagara Falls, N.Y. observing a co-conspirator pick up a package from the Post Office, which had been sent from China. Unbeknownst to Viera and his co-conspirators -- the package was intercepted two days prior by U.S. Postal inspectors and found to contain approximately one kilogram of methylone.

The plea is the result of an investigation by an investigation on the part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge, Shelly A. Binkowski.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 13, 2015 at 1:00 before Judge Arcara.

Updated June 29, 2015