Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 01, 2011|
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Miguel Guzman, 26, of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant conspired with Derek Frank in his alleged drug trafficking activities. Specifically, Guzman conspired to receive packages containing marijuana shipped via the United States Postal Service from Phoenix, Arizona to various residences in Buffalo.
Derek Frank, 30, of Amherst, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in March, 2011 with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, possession with intent to distribute, and the distribution of 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and conspiracy. 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.
In August 2011, former Transportation Safety Administration employee Minetta Walker was convicted of assisting Derek Frank in bypassing security measures at the Buffalo Airport. Walker’s conduct included allowing Frank to travel under a fictitious name. Also in August 2011, a City of Buffalo employee, Regina McCullen was convicted of assisting Frank in creating false documents used for travel.
The plea is a part of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota; the Transportation Safety Administration, under the direction of Federal Security Director, Derek DePietro; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Wilbert L. Plummer, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero; and the NFTA Transit Police, under the direction of Chief George Gast.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 21, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.