Modified: March 3, 2016 3:07pm
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr., announces that 37 year-old Jose Pesante of Maryland Street, in the City of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns. These were the highest charges for which Pesante could be prosecuted. He was not offered a plea to a reduced charge.
Pesante sold heroin to an undercover DEA Task Force agent three times between September 28, 2015, and October 2, 2015. On at least one of those occasions, Pesante was wearing a fanny pack which contained the heroin that he sold. On October 7, 2015, agents from the DEA Task Force and detectives from the Buffalo Police Department executed a search warrant at Pesante’s residence. As the law enforcement officers entered the residence, Pesante threw his fanny pack out the bedroom window. The fanny pack contained heroin and cocaine that were packaged for sale. Defendant admitted to the law enforcement officers that the heroin and cocaine in the fanny pack belonged to him. Pesante was convicted of a felony drug possession charge in 2009.
Acting DA Flaherty stated, “My office will fight the growing public health crisis caused by opioid addiction and overdose by prosecuting heroin dealers to the fullest extent of the law. There were more than 200 opiate-related deaths in Erie County last year, and the number is expected to double in 2016; we need to hold dealers accountable.”
Pesante faces a maximum prison term of 12 years when he is sentenced as a second felony offender before Justice Burns on February 25, 2016. Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Williams III, who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Narcotics Unit, prosecuted the case.
Flaherty praises the members of the DEA Task Force and Buffalo Police Department for their thorough investigation of the case and quick arrest of Pesante.