Aaron J. McDuffie, 21, allegedly known to WNY drug addicts as "G," was arrested and jailed Friday on federal charges of distribution of heroin and an especially strong version of fentanyl causing a drug death and possession with intent to distributethe fentanyl.
Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. lauded investigative work on the case by Cheektowaga police officers and detectives.
Kennedy also said McDuffie, who was remanded by Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer Friday, may also be responsible for another fatal overdose that occurred last week but toxicology tests are still pending in that case.
If convicted, McDuffie faces a possible life term and a fine of up to $1 million, Kennedy said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang said that just after 10 p.m. on June 27, 2015 Cheektowaga police and a Forks Volunteer Fire Company emergency medical services unit were sent to a Cheektowaga address after a reported drug overdose.
The victim was administered medical assistance and given shots of Narcan to try to reverse the overdose, but he did not recover and died on July 1, 2015, Wei Xiang said. An autopsy by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death was caused by acute butyryl fentanyl, a strong form of fentanyl, and morphine intoxication.
During a subsequent investigation Cheektowaga police found incriminating cell phone calls allegedly between the victim and McDuffie, Wei Xiang said. An undercover Cheektowaga detective bought butyryl fentanyl from McDuffie on Eagle Street in Buffalo on Nov. 30, 2015, and last Dec. 4 and Feb. 16.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration worked with Cheektowaga Police on the McDuffie investigation, according to the federal prosecutors.