Jury Convicts Former Lackawanna Man

March 21, 2011 Updated Mar 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Jury Convicts Former Lackawanna Man

March 21, 2011 Updated Mar 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM EDT

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--( release ) U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Luis A. Diaz-Agramonte, 45, formerly of Lackawanna, New York, was found guilty after a jury trial before United States District Judge Charles J. Siragusa of conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of cocaine base. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life in prison, a fine of $4,000,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank H. Sherman, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that Diaz-Agramonte and his co-conspirators were involved in supplying multi-kilogram amounts of cocaine in the Rochester area in 2001 and 2002. Diaz-Agramonte, a Dominican national who was deported from the United States in April 1999, returned illegally in 2000 and began living under the alias of “Jose Luis Torres.”

In late June 2001, Diaz-Agramonte and an associate recruited several individuals in Rochester to assist them in collecting an outstanding debt of $40,000 for two kilograms of cocaine which was owed by an individual named Zoris Mejia. When Mejia did not make payment for the cocaine, Diaz-Agramonte assisted in the abduction of Mejia from a house in Rochester while he was bound and gagged. After transporting Mejia, still bound and gagged, in the trunk of a vehicle to Buffalo, he was found dead and Diaz-Agramonte and his associates dumped the body in the water off the Buffalo waterfront. Mejia’s body was discovered in the water on July 4, 2001. Following the murder, Diaz-Agramonte and several associates participated in a series of robberies of cocaine and money between September of 2001 and June of 2002 from drug dealers in Houston, Chicago and Atlanta. The stolen quantities of cocaine were cooked into crack cocaine and distributed in Rochester.

“This case is yet another example of what our Office and our law enforcement partners will do to prosecute the most serious narcotics and violent crime defendants.”

The conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Timothy Kernan, the Rochester Police Department under the direction of Chief James Sheppard, and Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Lev Kubiak.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2011, at 2:30 p.m., before the Judge Siragusa.