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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Two Men Plead Guilty In Major Cocaine Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Alvin Torres, Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine, before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. In addition, Rafael Burgos, Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine which is punishable by a mandatory minimum 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 between 2013 and June 10, 2015, law enforcement officers investigated a drug trafficking organization led by defendants Burgos and David Jesus Pagan. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the defendants distributed multiple kilograms of cocaine throughout the Dunkirk area.

Burgos and Torres were arrested in June of 2015 along with Samuel Hernandez III, Javier Pagan, Jr., David Jesus Pagan, and Angel Pierluissi. Search warrants were executed at the time of the arrests at six properties which resulted in the recovery of more than seven kilograms of cocaine (the largest seizure ever in the City of Dunkirk) and approximately $175,000 in cash as well as an AR-15 assault rifle with a 30 round magazine. During a search of Burgos’ residence, officers discovered a secret room with a money counting machine. 

Hernandez and Javier Pagan, Jr. have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Charges are pending against David Jesus Pagan and Angel Pierluissi. 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.     

The pleas are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Office, the Dunkirk Police Department, under the direction of Chief David C. Ortolano, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb, and the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Patrick Swanson.

Torres will be sentenced on September 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Wolford. Sentencing of Burgos will be scheduled at a later date.

Updated May 23, 2016