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Buffalo heroin dealer pleads guilty

Jose Pesante, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns to three counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for three heroin sales to an undercover DEA Task Force agent between Sept. 28, 2015 and last Oct. 2.

Arrested and jailed since an Oct. 7 raid on his Maryland Street home, Pesante faces a prison term of up to 12 years when he is sentenced as a second-felony offender Feb. 25. He served a federal prison term for drugs about five years ago.

After Pesante’s guilty pleas to the highest charges he was facing in the case, Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. said his office “will fight the growing public health crisis caused by opioid addiction and overdose by prosecuting heroin dealers to the fullest extent of the law.” Citing reports that opiate-delated deaths in Erie County are expected to double over the next year, Flaherty said “we need to hold dealers accountable.”