• Erie Co. Blotter.

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Selling Heroin Which Resulted In A Death.

Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Damian Hicks-Bailey, 22, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, who is handling the case, stated that on July 1, 2015, the West Seneca, NY, Police Department responded to a 911 call from a woman screaming that her son was dead. Police officers responded and found an individual dead inside an apartment at 4175 Seneca Street. Officers recovered an uncapped hypodermic needle (next to the victim), a spoon with a dried white cotton ball/filter (next to the victim), and an empty plastic bag. The spoon and cotton ball later tested positive for heroin and the empty plastic bag contained the defendant’s DNA. The victim’s mother, who lived with her son, told officers she last spoke with her son the night before at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Officers subsequently reviewed a string of text messages on the victim’s cell phone during which he discussed purchasing drugs from an individual. The text messages led police to a 7-11 store on Seneca Street where surveillance images captured the defendant exchanging the drugs with the victim at around 1:30 a.m. on the day of his death.

The plea is the result of investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division and the West Seneca Police Department, under the direction of Chief Daniel Denz.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 12, 2017, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

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