DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
William J. Hochul, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Wellsville Man Pleads Guilty to Meth Charge

Buffalo, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Lionel C. Carter, a/k/a Skip, 60, of Wellsville, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine. The charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan T. Cullinane, who is handling the case, stated that between January of 2011 and October of 2014, the defendant engaged in the practice of “smurfing” (buying small quantities) at local pharmacies to get around restrictions on purchasing products containing pseudoephedrine, an important chemical necessary in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Carter is one of 12 defendants charged in a methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy in Allegany County. He is the fourth defendant to be convicted. Charges are pending against the remaining eight defendants. 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 conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), under the direction of Lieutenant Kevin Reyes and Major David Krause, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Division, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, the Wellsville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy O’Grady, U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Patrol Agent in Charge Steven Oldman, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, under the direction of Captain Frank Lauricella.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 10, 2016, before Judge Arcara.

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New York Field Division