BUFFALO, NY (STL.News) – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced Friday that Giovani Ramirez-Soto, 27, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to conspiracy to possession with intent to distribute, and to distribute, one kilogram or more of heroin. Soto also pled guilty to being a removed alien unlawfully found in United States. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that beginning sometime in 2018 and continuing until July 26, 2018, the defendant conspired with co-defendant Humberto Martinez-Vega to sell heroin.
On July 26, 2018, a New York State Police Trooper conducted a traffic stop of a red Honda Accord, with Alabama license plates, driving on Route 20A in the Town of Warsaw in Wyoming County. The trooper approached the vehicle, which was being driven by Martinez-Vega with Ramirez-Soto as a passenger. Martinez-Vega gave the trooper an expired Georgia identification card, and told the trooper he was looking for work.
Martinez-Vega gave the trooper consent to search the vehicle. A NYSP K9 Trooper was brought to the scene. The K9 alerted to several areas of the vehicle and a subsequent search recovered 1,200 grams of suspected heroin, and approximately 421 grams of suspected methamphetamine hidden behind the front dashboard of the vehicle.
Further investigation determined that the defendants were illegally present in the United States.
Charges remain pending against Humberto Martinez-Vega. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.