DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 2, 2023
Carla B. Freedman
, United States Attorney

Greene County Felon Admits to Possessing Cocaine and Cocaine Base for Distribution, and Possessing Firearms in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

ALBANY, N.Y. — Atniel Pagan, age 24, of Catskill, pled guilty today to possessing and intending to distribute cocaine and cocaine base and to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman; David L. McNulty, United States Marshal for the Northern District of New York; John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins.

Pagan admitted to possessing 225 grams of cocaine and 22 grams of cocaine base that he intended to sell at an apartment in Albany. Pagan, a previously convicted felon, further admitted to possessing a loaded privately manufactured, semi-automatic, AR-style rifle, and a loaded privately manufactured, semi-automatic pistol, aka “ghost guns," in order to guard against the potential theft of his drugs and drug money. Pagan was arrested at his apartment by the U.S. Marshals executing a state arrest warrant, and Albany Police subsequently obtained a warrant to search the apartment.

Pagan faces at least five years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $1 million and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 3 years and up to life, when he is sentenced on March 1, 2024 by U.S District Anne M. Nardacci. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and Albany Police Department, with assistance provided by ATF and the Greene County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emmet O’Hanlon is prosecuting this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.


New York Field Division