U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York
(716) 843-5700
May 8, 2015

Cattaraugus Man Convicted of Drug and Gun Charges

BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has found Joseph Tigano, III, 51, guilty of manufacturing in excess of 1000 marijuana plants; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; maintaining a premises for the manufacturing of marijuana; conspiracy to manufacture and possess marijuana and maintain a premises for the manufacturing of marijuana; and being a felon in possession of a firearms. The charges carry a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on July 8, 2008, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Mill St. factory. During the search, officers discovered an active hydroponic marijuana grow operation which included 1414 plants. In addition, officers seized 100 pounds of harvested and processed marijuana packaged for sale. The estimated value of the processed marijuana is between $300,000 and $500,000.

Officers also seized three firearms, United States currency, money orders, and savings bonds. Also seized were a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, a 2005 Jeep Cherokee Limited, and a 2007 Haulmark Trailer.

Tigano was arrested on July 8, 2008 along with his father, Joseph Tigano, Sr., who has also been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.

The verdict is the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, with the assistance of the Cattaraugus County Sherriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, and the Southern Tier Regional Task Force, under the direction of Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ronald Lott, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit, under the direction of Timothy Howard.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 13, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. before U.S District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford, who presided over the trial of the case.

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