DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 14, 2016
William J. Hochul, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Gun Charges

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Ricky Lee Pyzikiewicz, 28, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that on November 15, 2010, law enforcement officers searched the defendant’s residence on Maurice Street in Buffalo. Officers seized baggies later determined to contain cocaine and marijuana as well as a rifle and ammunition.

The search was part of an ongoing criminal investigation into narcotics trafficking by Pyzikiewicz and co-defendant Ashley Marie Gnocchini, 29, of Cheektowaga, NY. During the morning hours of November 15, 2010, officers had set up an undercover purchase with the defendants. As Pyzikiewicz and Gnocchini drove to the area of Milestrip Road and McKinley Parkway in Hamburg, NY, Orchard Park, NY police officers pulled over a gray Saturn Ion the two were riding in. Pyzikiewicz appeared to hide something under his seat. A Hamburg Police Department canine unit responded to the scene, a canine sniff was conducted, and was positive for the presence of narcotics. A subsequent search was conducted and quantities of cocaine were recovered.

Gnocchini was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and will be sentenced March 2, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, the Orchard Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Pacholec, and the Hamburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gregory Wickett.

Pyzikiewicz will be sentenced on May 4, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Wolford.


New York Field Division