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Buffalo man arrested twice for heroin possession pleads guilty

A Buffalo man twice arrested for heroin possession pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance before State Supreme Court Justice William M. Boller, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Rafael Rivera, 60, pleaded guilty to the highest sustainable charges, prosecutors said.

On July 15, Rivera was stopped by a Town of Tonawanda Police officer. The officer searched Rivera's vehicle and found 37 bags of heroin packaged for sale, according to the District Attorney's Office.

On Aug. 22, while released on bail, Rivera was arrested for possession of heroin with intent to sell. The Buffalo Police narcotics unit executed a search warrant to raid Rivera's home, where investigators found 35 bags of heroin packaged for sale and paraphernalia commonly used to distribute heroin, prosecutors said.

Rivera faces a maximum of nine years in prison when sentenced Feb. 1, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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