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Raymond Peracciny Jr. of Lockport, who the U.S. Attorney's Office said was the kingpin in a marijuana trafficking ring from 1992 to 1996, pleaded guilty to drug charges in federal court earlier this week.

He admitted heading a drug ring that distributed nearly a half-ton of marijuana in Western New York and encouraging a federal witness to falsely testify to a grand jury.

Peracciny pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and one count of witness tampering, culminating an investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Niagara County Drug Task Force.

He faces up to 40 years in prison and a maximum $2 million fine for the drug charge and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for tampering with a grand jury witness. Sentencing is set for April 21.

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