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Eight arrested in connection with alleged drug trafficking ring from Buffalo to Mexico

Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 05, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Attorney's Office says eight people have been arrested in connection with an alleged drug trafficking ring that stretched from Buffalo to Mexico.

Officials believe the Buffalo-based operation is led by David Burgin and David Washington, who were arrested on drug conspiracy charges in February 2020.

Four search warrants were executed at four locations Wednesday and investigators seized the following:

  • A kilogram of suspected cocaine.
  • 40 grams of suspected crack cocaine packaged for distribution.
  • Multiple pounds of marijuana.
  • A loaded handgun.
  • 1500 rounds of assorted ammunition.
  • Pistol magazines.
  • Approximately $27,000 in cash.

The following were charged by complaint with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, controlled substances:

  • Ronnie Charleston
  • Robert Claiborne
  • Antoine Gilbert
  • Tonie Wiley
  • Aaron Spain Jr.
  • Eric Hale, A/K/A Cuz E

The following were charged by indictment with narcotics conspiracy and possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine and cocaine:

  • Saan Thompson, A/K/A Duke
  • Louis Gilbert

“This case is a tremendous example of the determination of our law enforcement partners to continue to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” stated U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. “Investigators did not stop when the leaders of this dangerous drug trafficking organization were previously apprehended and taken off the streets. Investigative efforts continued leading to the charging of eight additional defendants in this case.”

Claiborne, Gilbert, Wiley and Hale were released on conditions. Thompson, Gilbert, Spain and Charleston were detained.

“Today’s arrests and seizures represent a critical disruption to an international drug trafficking ring,” said Kevin Kelly, Special Agent-in-Charge of Homeland Security Investigation Buffalo. “I would like to thank the law enforcement personnel at all levels of government whose hard work and collaboration led to today’s results. HSI and our partners will continue efforts to increase community safety through the dismantlement of this drug trafficking organization.”