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Two West Side gang members sentenced as heroin distributors

Two members of a West Side Buffalo street gang were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms following their convictions on distributing heroin.

Raul Ramirez Vargas, 43, of Buffalo, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a kilogram or more of heroin, was sentenced to 130 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. Meanwhile, Skretny sentenced Angel Sanchez, 49, also of Buffalo, to 60 months in prison for his conviction on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing 100 grams or more of heroin.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, both Vargas and Sanchez were associates of a gang known as the Loiza Boys, whose members have been distributing heroin and cocaine on Buffalo’s West Side since 2006.

Both were charged in 2013, along with eight co-conspirators, following an extensive investigation involving the interception of telephone calls of those later charged in the case, and the use of undercover drug purchases. During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized more than 450 grams of heroin, three firearms and $70,000 in currency, federal authorities said.

Nine of the 10 people charged in the case have since been convicted. Charges are still pending against Josbel Garcia, authorities said.

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