You are here

Justice News

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two Buffalo Men Indicted For Cocaine Trafficking

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 a federal grand jury has returned a 10-count indictment charging John Nelson, 41, and Lawrence Russell, 39, both of Buffalo, NY, with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine, and maintaining drug-involved premises. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, Nelson and Russell sold cocaine and crack cocaine over a two-year period from 2013 to 2015. At times, the defendants used a house on 14th Street on the West Side of Buffalo for their drug activities.


Nelson was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and is being held pending a detention hearing on February 24, 2017. Russell is currently in jail pending a state parole violation proceeding and will be arraigned in federal court on February 24, 2017.


The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen.


The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Updated February 22, 2017