BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Lance Parker, 43, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that in July 2018, the defendant conspired with co-defendants Edgar Pavia, Adrian Goudelock, Eric Young, and others, to sell cocaine. Pavia is alleged to have brokered bulk quantity cocaine from the Southwest border to multiple areas in the country including Buffalo, NY, Kentucky, and Georgia.
On July 25, 2018, defendant Parker met Young in a parking lot in West Seneca. Parker was observed by investigators removing a bag from his pick-up truck and putting it in the driver’s side of the tractor-trailer that Young was operating. Parker was further observed removing a different bag from the tractor-trailer. In addition to physical surveillance, helicopter surveillance also monitored the transaction. Investigators subsequently seized both bags, one contained 17 kilograms of cocaine, and the other contained 52 shrink-wrapped and taped bundles of currency, totaling $519,580. Law enforcement officers also found three plastic wrapped packages of bulk U.S. currency totaling $145,380 secreted in the tractor-trailer. A phone seized from Parker revealed text messages from co-defendant Goudelock with instructions where to go to find the tractor-trailer.
Charges remain pending against defendants Pavia, Goudelock, and Young. 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.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Buffalo, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Unit, under the direction of Brian Manaher, Director, Marine Operations. Additional assistance was provided by the New York National Guard; HSI-Louisville; the Kentucky State Police; the Louisville Metro Police; and the Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 23, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Sinatra.