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Three indicted in cross-border drug operation

A Canadian man living in Buffalo, a Jamestown native who runs a barber shop in north Buffalo and a Buffalo man all allegedly linked to a cross-border drug trafficking operation were indicted Tuesday by a Federal grand jury. Richard Clarke, 47, the Canadian citizen who lives on Nottingham Terrace; Barrett Johnson, 32, operator of the Iconz Barbershop on Hertel Avenue, and Joshua Castro, 31, of Buffalo were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said if convicted as charged each faces a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million. Hochul said Castro was also charged by the grand jury with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances which carries another possible prison term of up to 20 years. All three pleaded not guilty at arraignment before U.S.Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and they were released from custody under strict conditions pending further court proceedings.

Clarke is accused of supplying allegedly Canadian-produced MDA and MDMA drugs, also known as ecstasy and molly to Johnson and Castro. In January Clarke and Johnson were allegedly observed in a drug deal on Elmwood Avenue and a later raid on Clarke’s Nottingham Terrace home produced quantities of powder molly and ecstacy pills and about $13,000 in cash, according to Hochul.