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Eight members of violent West Side heroin gang plead guilty

Oneil Quinones, 31, the alleged leader of The Loiza Boys, a notorious West Side heroin ring, and six other members of that gang, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny Thursday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz said all eight face minimum federal prison terms of 10 years with life terms possible for each and fines of up to $10 million each when each is sentenced either next March or next April.

Pleading along with Oneil Quinones were Jorge Quinones, 39; Edwin Sanchez, 31; Angel Sanches, 49; Paul Ramirez Vargas, 43, and Miguel Manso, 46, all of Buffalo and Jose Rivera, 35, of Niagara Falls.

Also Thursday gang member Ellis Colon, 32, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty before Skretny to failing to disclose a felony incident to authorities. Colon faces a federal prison term of up to three years.

The gang, named after a town in Puerto Rico, allegedly filled the void of West Side heroin trafficking after law enforcement shut down the 10th Street and 7th Street gangs, according to Buffalo police and federal law enforcement agents.

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