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Lockport man pleads guilty to federal drug charges

A Lockport man arrested for narcotics trafficking along with 22 other people in August 2010 has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul reported Tuesday. He is the 17th defendant to be convicted.

Damian Ard, 32, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years and a $5 million fine when he appears for sentencing before Judge Skretny on Oct. 1. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and conspiracy to possess cocaine base with intent to distribute.

Prosecutors said that Ard distributed cocaine base, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, Ecstacy and prescription pills in Lockport from 2009 until his arrest. When police searched Ard’s residence, they reported seizing three guns, ammunition, marijuana in plastic baggies and surveillance equipment.