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Niagara Falls man pleads guilty to gun charge


Mon, Jan 9th 2023 02:20 pm

Submitted by the Office of U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced Lazarus R. Hayes, 33, of Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr. to possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that, on June 19, 2021, the Niagara Falls Police Narcotics Unit and Niagara County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Hayes’s Pierce Avenue residence. During the search, they recovered from a bag belonging to co-defendant Gerald Harper approximately 93 grams of cocaine, 9 grams of fentanyl, 26 grams of amphetamine, 245 milligrams of hydrocodone, and 720 milligrams of oxycodone. In addition, within Hayes’s residence, investigators seized approximately 8 grams of cocaine, 20 clonazepam tablets, a digital scale, two loaded firearms, $3,958 in cash, which is proceeds of drug trafficking activities.

Gerald Harper was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent John Faso; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III; New York Field Division; and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael Filicetti.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 9 before Judge Sinatra.

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