CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Dante Dolson, 51, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five kilograms or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life, and a $20,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Misha A. Coulson, who is handling the case, stated that between December 2016, and August 24, 2017, the defendant conspired with others to sell cocaine. On at least four separate occasions, Dolson coordinated the transportation of 10 kilograms of cocaine for distribution in the Niagara Falls/Buffalo, NY area. On each occasion, the defendant worked with co-conspirators to conceal the cocaine within a “trap” hidden under the hood of the vehicle in order to avoid detection by law enforcement.
On August 24, 2017, members of the Niagara Falls Police Department executed a New York State search warrant at a residence on Independence Avenue in Niagara Falls, the associated detached garage, and a vehicle registered to Dolson. The location was the residence of a relative of Dolson. When investigators entered the detached garage, the defendant was observed rolling beneath the opening garage door to flee from the area. Investigators also noticed that the hood of a minivan in the garage was ajar and a socket wrench was attached to a bolt securing one of the windshield wipers. The “trap” was contained in the engine compartment of the vehicle, and concealed behind a plastic shield underneath the wiper area.
Investigators recovered five full bricks and two half-sized bricks of suspected cocaine wrapped in black plastic sitting on top of the seat cushions of a couch positioned along one of the walls within the garage. $5,000 in cash was also found in another vehicle on the property.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas Licata, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 1, 2021, at 12:30 before Judge Arcara.
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