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Press Release

Two defendants charged in narcotics ring facing additional charges

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment charging Joseph Zaso a/k/a Joey Cracks a/k/a Sosa, 39, of Buffalo, NY, and Kyle N. Lewis, 31, of Jamestown. NY, who were previously charged with multiple drug charges, with additional charges:

•             Defendant Zaso is charged with brandishing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and document concealment of material fact, for allegedly lying on his monthly probation reports while under the supervision of U.S. Probation. Zaso faces a mandatory life sentence.

•             Defendant Lewis is charged with narcotics conspiracy and minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that according to the second superseding indictment and previously filed indictments, between September 2018, and May 26, 2022, defendant Zaso organized and managed an illegal narcotics ring in the Jamestown and Buffalo areas. Zaso conspired with Lewis and others to sell heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, utilizing residences at 12 Locust Street and 110 Fairview Avenue in Jamestown and 48 Laurel Street in Buffalo for their drug trafficking activities. Zaso is accused of selling heroin to an individual identified as B.K., causing serious bodily injury.

Zaso and Lewis are currently detained.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The second superseding indictment is the result of an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Quattrone.

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.      

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Barbara Burns


Updated November 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses