Two Buffalo men plead guilty to cocaine charges

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 08:33 hrs

Buffalo, Dec 13 (IBNS) U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced on Wednesday that Christopher Carluccio and Vunnal Blair, both of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael L. McCabe, who is handling the case, Blair, 57, purchased cocaine from Charles Palmer, while Carluccio, 38, purchased cocaine from George Krajas.

Both Palmer and Krajas are awaiting trial and allegedly stored and sold cocaine from an auto shop at 2307 Broadway in Sloan. Both Blair and Carluccio then sold cocaine to a network of customers in the city of Buffalo.

The defendants were arrested along with eight others in June 2011 following a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in Cheektowaga and Buffalo's East Side.

To date, three defendants have been convicted.

The pleas are the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota; the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zach; and the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

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