Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 6, 2014

Lockport man sentenced in federal drug case

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — BUFFALO – A Lockport man is going to prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring broken up in 2010.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Monday that Damian Ard, 33, was sentenced to six years in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. Ard was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine base.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who handled the case, said Ard was arrested after a long-term investigation into narcotics trafficking in Niagara County and the City of Buffalo conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Niagara County Drug Task Force. The investigation involved several court-authorized wiretaps, including taps on two cellular telephones used by Ard to conduct drug trafficking.

Ard distributed cocaine base, cocaine, heroin, prescription medications and marijuana in the Lockport area from early 2009 through August 2010, Baumgarten said.

During the execution of a federal search warrant at Ard’s residence on Aug. 17, 2010, law enforcement officers seized a Remington Model 597 rifle, two .22 caliber rifle magazines, a .22 caliber high capacity magazine, an RML 7.62 x 39 caliber semi-automatic rifle, two magazines and ammunition, and a New England Firearms Pardner Model SBI 20 gauge shotgun and ammunition.

In total, investigators charged 24 defendants in connection with the investigation, 23 of whom have been convicted. The leader of the operation, Will Johnson, was sentenced to 10 years in prison this past September.