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Press Release

Two California Men Indicted On Cocaine Charges

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

CONTACT:  Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX #:            (716) 551-305
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a three-count indictment charging Armando Ernesto Abarca, 21, of Modesto, California, and Raul Everado Ledesma Abarca, 34, of San Diego, California with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and maintaining a drug-involved premises. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.   

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, between September 2014, and September 2016, the defendants conspired with others to possess and distribute cocaine. The defendants are also accused of renting a storage unit in Amherst, NY to store the cocaine.

The defendants were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and are being held.

The indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; Immigration and Custom Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office. Additional assistance was provided by ICE-HSI in Los Angeles, California.

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 August 28, 2017