Five Buffalo-area men have been indicted under the "kingpin statute" for cocaine trafficking and would spend a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
Indictments have been returned against Javier Navarro, Jose De Leon, and Eric De Leon-Navarro Sr., as well as Rodney Hill and Tyronne Pennick in two separate cases, announced U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.
"Five ring leaders are no longer in business and will no longer be able to fill our streets with cocaine and other drugs that often lead to violence and can bring down city streets and neighborhoods," according to Hochul.
Navarro, De Leon, and DeLeon-Navarro, Sr. and 19 others are also charged with conspiracy to distribute, as well as distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $4 million, or both. Javier Navarro and Jose De Leon also face related firearms charges.
The indictment charges that between January 2009 and February 2010, the defendants trafficked kilogram quantities of cocaine from source cities in Puerto Rico and New Jersey to Buffalo, N.Y., for distribution.
In a separate case, Hill and Pennick were indicted on a charge of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. They are also charged, along with four others, with drug conspiracy. The maximum penalty is life in prison and a $4 million fine. During the course of the investigation, agents seized $7 million and 42 kilograms of cocaine.
The indictments are the result of a joint investigation between the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, New York State Police, Buffalo Police Department, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.