BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — How many times have you eaten a Sea Cucumber? In Western New York, chances are it’s never. But, they were the critical clue that convicted Herman Aguirre and Troy Gillon for narcotics conspiracy.
From 2013-2015 their drug operation brought in over 5,000 pounds of drugs to WNY.
Their drug source was El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel.
“We are a city of chicken wings and good neighbors. And today, we took on The Cartel and we delivered them a very deadly blow,” said U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr.
Gillon and Aguirre were just two of 15 people charged in creating phony seafood companies that were used to sell large quantities of drugs, including fentanyl. The drugs were labeled as sea cucumbers.
Gillon once had 10 kilograms of fentanyl in Lockport. That's enough to kill everyone in Erie County, more than four times over. Police seized eight of those kilograms in Cheektowaga.
Kennedy says cutting off this drug pipeline made a big impact.
“If you're able to convict somebody at trial who had personal interaction with the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is one of the largest and most dangerous drug cartels in the world, I don't know if it gets much bigger than that,” said Kennedy.