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Lockport man who shipped drugs disguised as sea cucumbers sentenced to prison

Posted at 2:10 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 14:19:15-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After previously being convicted of narcotics conspiracy a Lockport man has been sentenced to serve 25 years in prison for his role in shipping drugs disguised as sea cucumbers which were tied to the Sinaloa Cartel led by "El Chapo."

Officials say 46-year-old Troy Gillon "was a member of a transnational drug trafficking organization, led by co-defendant Herman E. Aguirre, that utilized contacts and a source of supply whose territory included Mexico, Arizona, California, and elsewhere. The source of supply was the Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada."

The local organization trafficked thousands of kilograms of illegal narcotics throughout the U.S. including Lockport, Niagara Falls and Buffalo.

According to officials they used the mail, individual vehicles with trap compartments and pallets loaded on tractor trailers. They say members used fictitious "front" companies to launder the drug proceeds.

Using the fictitious companies kilograms of drugs were disguised on pallets and described on inventory as sea cucumbers.

"Local members of the drug trafficking organization deposited over $19,000,000 of illegal drug proceeds into these fake seafood accounts, while California conspirators created false invoices to make it look like Western New Yorkers were buying sea cucumbers at astounding rates and quantities," a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York states.

Over $5 million worth of illegal narcotics was seized during the investigation, including:

• 52.5 kilograms of cocaine;
• 17.5 kilograms of heroin; and
• 8.5 kilograms of fentanyl

Officials say using standard dosage amounts the seized drugs represented over:

  • 1,500,000 “hits” of cocaine
  • 2,700,000 “hits” of heroin
  • Enough fentanyl potentially to kill over four million people

Gillon was sentenced to 25 years in prison, Aguirre is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23, 2021. A total of 18 defendants were charged and convicted in connection with this case.