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Runner sentenced, supplier pleads guilty in West Side heroin ring

Two men have been convicted of participating in a ring that distributed heroin on Buffalo's West Side, federal prosecutors reported.

Maikel Gonzalez, 20, and Luis Montanez, 37, were the most recent conspirators found guilty of charges. Of the 15 people indicted, all but one has since been convicted, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Gonzalez was sentenced for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. Montanez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin..

Between January 2015 and Sept. 28, 2015,  Gonzalez conspired with others to distribute heroin on the West Side of Buffalo, according to assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan A. Tokash.

Gonzalez was a street-level distributor or runner in a heroin trafficking ring operated by Daniel Molina-Rios, prosecutors said. The organization acquired heroin from the New York City area for distribution in Buffalo but also had an alternate heroin source locally, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Montanez was described as the supplier to the Molina-Rios drug trafficking organization, providing it with heroin for about three weeks when the original source of heroin was not satisfying its customers.

Gonzalez was sentenced to 12 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Montanez is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16.

Charges are pending against the remaining defendant in the case, authorities said.




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