BUFFALO, N.Y. (RELEASE) - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that 33people have been arrested and charged with unlawfully traffickingin prescription pills in a series of indictments and criminalcomplaints unsealed today in federal court.
One person, Michael McCall of Buffalo, was charged withoperating a continuing criminal enterprise. The narcotics chargescarry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000or both while the enterprise charge carries a maximum penalty oflife, a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of$2,000,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. McCabe, who is handling thecase, stated that the charges stem from a long-term investigationinto the widespread illegal sale of prescription drugs in the cityof Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs. One of the indictmentsunsealed today charges Justin Doyle and nine others withdistributing OxyContin pills in the Cheektowaga area where Doyleworked as an attendant at a William Street gas station. Doyle isaccused of selling pills while at work at the gas station to abroad network of other distributors in Cheektowaga and neighboringtowns.
Doyle also had ties to a large-scale prescription pilldistribution organization based in Buffalo, alleged to be headed byMcCall. The complaint states that McCall managed a series ofindividuals who obtained prescription OxyContin from Buffalopharmacies and provided them to McCall. McCall then redistributedthe pills to a network of sellers who sold the pills on StraussStreet in Buffalo's Broadway/Fillmore neighborhood.
“When used as directed by a doctor, prescriptionmedications can be a benefit. But when they end up in the hands ofthe wrong people, especially young people, they can be dangerous,even deadly” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “We know thatavailability of these prescription drugs and access to them lead tomisuse. I encourage everyone to keep very close tabs on your pillbottles and if you no longer need the medication, get rid of it sothat it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.”
“With the insurgence of illegal prescription drug abuse,dealers are profiting on the sale of addiction. Justin Doyle gavenew meaning to the term ‘full service gas station’ byusing his position at a local Buffalo gas station to sell thousandsof Oxycontin pills to users who would purchase gas. Doyle wassupplied by Michael McCall who organized his network like abusiness franchise, employing individuals who would ‘doctorshop’ for pain medicine only to resell those medicines toindividuals who want the drugs for no other reason than to gethigh. This investigation proves that opiate addiction is at a highand we are committed to investigating those who are involved indistributing these illegally obtained medications,” said DEASpecial Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride.
"We recognize the abuse of prescription medication as a growingproblem and are committed to investigating and arresting thoseresponsible for distributing them in our society" said New YorkState Police Acting Superintendent John P. Melville.
The indictment and complaints were the culmination of aninvestigation on the part of Special Agents of the federal DrugEnforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent inCharge John P. Gilbride, in conjunction with many state and localauthorities such as the New York State Police, the Buffalo PoliceDepartment, the Cheektowaga Police Department, the West SenecaPolice Department, the Lancaster Police Department, the AmherstPolice Department and the Lockport Police Department. The evidencewas presented to the Grand Jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney MichaelL. McCabe, who will handle the trial of the case.
The following individuals were charged with unlawfullydistributing OxyContin pills, a powerful prescription painkillerand controlled substance: Justin Doyle, age 22, of West Seneca,Mark Riordan, age 21, of Lancaster, Jason DeWolf, age 35, of Depew,Lindsay Lang, age 18, of Orchard Park, Brenda Sargent, age 43, ofLockport, Jacob Winkowski, age 20, of Cheektowaga, AndrewMeidinger, age 22, of Lancaster, Christopher Priebe, age 23, ofLancaster, Daniel Smythe, age 22, of Cheektowaga, Shawn Zasada, age25, of West Seneca, James Schuler, age 29, of Buffalo, TiffanyThompson, age 29, of Buffalo, Christopher Bartolone, age 26, ofLancaster, Bradley Puskar, age 23, of Cheektowaga, JonathanWysomierski, age 24, of Cheektowaga, Edwin Santiago, age 49, ofBuffalo, Gisale McKienney, age 30, of Buffalo, Michael McCall, age60, of Cheektowaga, Atiya Johnson, age 29, of Buffalo, CourtneyCallahan, age 26, of Buffalo, DeShawn McLorn, age 36, of Buffalo,Rosalind Barnes, age 58, of Buffalo, Otis Boatwright, age 50, ofBuffalo, Gwendolyn Grimes, age 59, of Buffalo, Ethel Johnson, age60, of Buffalo, Christine Layman, age 35, of Buffalo, Elora Lee,age 50, of Buffalo, Joanne Lott, age 60, of Buffalo, Wilma Mack,age 64, of Buffalo, Michael Neely, age 51, of Buffalo, OliviaPaschell, age 40, of Buffalo, Michael Spencer, age 37, of Buffaloand
Sophie Wroblewski, age 39, of Buffalo.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime ismerely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent untiland unless proven guilty.
A Buffalo Police vehicle was involved in a two-car crash around 8:40 a.m. Monday. The crash happened at Bailey and LaSalle Avenues.
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being apart from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
Police say that with the assistance of local media, they were able to identify the person responsible.
Monday is being billed as a national "Day of Action" among teachers and community groups who are worried about the state of education.
Buffalo Police say a man was shot and killed Sunday night near Shirley and Suffolk Avenues. Police were called to the scene around 9 p.m