U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Lamario Mills, a/k/a Rio, 32, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy to possessing with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremiah E. Lenihan and Joshua A. Violanti, who are handling the case, stated that in August 2018, investigators began looking into the drug trafficking activities of the defendant and multiple co-defendants, which were focused in the area of 67 Townsend and 76 Townsend Street in Buffalo. Between August 2018 and June 18, 2019, the defendant and his co-defendants sold cocaine and crack cocaine in that area. Investigators conducted a total of 27 controlled purchases of crack cocaine and 12 purchases of cocaine.
Mills was an organizer in the drug trafficking organization, responsible for supplying members on a near-daily basis with crack cocaine, which they in turn sold on behalf of the organization. On June 18, 2019, investigators executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Delaware Avenue residence, and seized a quantity of cocaine and marijuana, and utensils used to cook the cocaine into crack cocaine, such a pan, spatula, tongs, and plates. They also seized $35,562.00 in cash.
Mills was arrested in June 2018 along with nine other defendants, he is the second to be convicted.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood; the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney John Flynn; and the Erie County Crime Analysis Center.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 17, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.