Schneiderman Secures Guilty Pleas and Prison Time in 'Operation Babcock' Cocaine Bust

September 14, 2012 Updated Sep 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM EDT

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Schneiderman Secures Guilty Pleas and Prison Time in 'Operation Babcock' Cocaine Bust

September 14, 2012 Updated Sep 14, 2012 at 4:13 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Friday announced that three individuals pled  guilty in connection with drug distribution networks in Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Genesee Counties. 

According to a news release:

In addition to their guilty pleas, the individuals, who were arrested in May 2012 as part of "Operation Babcock," will be incarcerated in state prison upon sentencing.

“Operation Babcock” was a year-long investigation run by the Attorney General Schneiderman's Organized Crime Task Force and the New York State Police's Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (C-NET) unit. Babcock is the nickname of a neighborhood in South Buffalo where much of the investigation took place.

"Drug networks like these in Western New York not only physically harm the individuals involved but also devastate entire neighborhoods with increased crime," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Operation Babcock has yielded quick results in putting criminals behind bars, and my office will continue to go after the individuals who saturate our communities with dangerous narcotics. I want to thank our law enforcement partners for helping us to make our streets safer."

The three individuals who pleaded guilty and will be incarcerated upon their sentences include:

• Michael Banks, 36, of Buffalo - Pleaded guilty to Attempted Conspiracy 2nd degree and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24, 2012.

• Manuel Bracero, 20, of Buffalo - Pleaded guilty to B Felony, Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances 3rd degree and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14, 2012.

• Mark Cousins, 21, of Buffalo - Pleaded guilty to C Felony Attempted Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24, 2012.

In addition to Friday's guilty pleas, Attorney General Schneiderman's office has already secured guilty pleas from ten other individuals for narcotic felony charges in connection with "Operation Babcock."  Those individuals participated in two separate cocaine distribution networks centered in and around the Buffalo area. During the course of the investigation, several kilograms of cocaine and approximately $58,500 in cash were seized.