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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 11, 2018

Tonawanda Man Sentenced For His Role In Drug Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Raymond Hopson, 35, of Tonawanda, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, was sentenced to 60 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Violanti, who handled the case, stated that between July 28, 2016, and November 8, 2016, Hopson made several sales of crack cocaine to an undercover (UC) officer posing as a drug customer. During that time, the defendant was living with for Niagara Falls Police Officer Stephanie Costanzo, at her residence on Grand Avenue in Niagara Falls. Hopson would store some of his cocaine, along with paraphernalia used to weigh and distribute the cocaine, at the residence.  

On November 9, 2016, Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with the Niagara Falls Police Department executed a search warrant at Costanzo’s residence. Agents and officers recovered approximately 5.6 grams of cocaine, a digital scale used for weighing and distributing the cocaine, and drug paraphernalia used to package and distribute the cocaine. Although she did not participate in the distribution of the controlled substances, Costanzo was aware that Hopson stored his cocaine and paraphernalia at her residence.

Hopson conspired with another co-defendant, Lindsay Carrier, to distribute crack cocaine. On five occasions between July 28, 2016, and November 8, 2016, Hopson obtained crack cocaine from Carrier and then sold it to an undercover officer. A search warrant executed at the Willow Avenue residence of Carrier’s mother, resulted in the seizure of quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine.

Costanzo and Carrier were previously convicted. Costanzo was sentenced to time served, and Carrier received 70 months in prison.  
 
Hopson’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Niagara Falls Police department, under the direction of Superintendent Bryan Dalporto, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.

Updated June 12, 2018