02/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/19/2021 16:27
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Nathaniel Myers a/k/a Stretch, 26, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremiah E. Lenihan and Joel L. Violanti, who are handling the case, stated that the defendant has been in custody at the Niagara County Jail pending the resolution of two separate federal indictments. While at the Niagara County Jail, Myers met Individual 1, who was later released from custody at the jail. Beginning in January 2020, investigators learned that the defendant had been in communication with Individual 1, in an effort to obtain large amounts of narcotics for distribution in the Buffalo area. In jail calls, Myers agreed to pay Individual 1 $39,000 for a kilogram of heroin, as well as $3,000 to Individual 2 who would be driving the kilogram of heroin from North Carolina to Buffalo. On January 13, 2020, Individual 2 delivered the kilogram of heroin to Individual 3 for further distribution. After being told by Individual 3 that the narcotics received 'mixed reviews,' Myers arranged for another kilogram of heroin to be sent from the Chula Vista, CA, area to a residence on Leonard Street in Buffalo.
In May 2020, Individual 1 discussed with Myers how business had slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, Individual 1 sent a quarter kilogram of cocaine to Individual 3 for distribution. On May 16, 2020, the DEA seized another package of suspected cocaine. On May 17 and 18, 2020, Myers discussed the seizure of the package with Individuals 1 and 3 in jail calls. In a follow-up call on May 30, 2020, the defendant and Individual 1 discussed providing another co-conspirator with narcotics. That same day, the DEA seized a package containing 3,000 pills of suspected fentanyl/Percocet. In a jail call on June 1, 2020, the defendant and Individual 1 discussed the lost package.
On June 4, 2020, a package was delivered to Individual 3, who then left his residence carrying a white plastic bag and drove away in his vehicle. Law enforcement officers attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, but Individual 3 sped away and engaged in a high-speed chase, eluding officers for approximately a mile on Route 33. As Individual 3 entered Route 33, he threw a plastic bag from his window. Individual 3 was arrested on state charges. After being released from custody, Individual 3 drove to the area of Route 33 where he discarded the plastic bag, however, the plastic bag was replaced by investigators with a 'sham' package of narcotics. On July 14, 2020, Individual 3 was taken into custody on a federal arrest warrant. A search warrant was executed at his residence on East Lovejoy Street in Buffalo and on his car. Investigators recovered suspected cocaine, a scale, mixing bowl, bottles of cutting agents, gloves, plastic bags for packaging, and a hydraulic press.
Myers previously pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, controlled substances and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 20, 2021, before Judge Geraci.
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