BUFFALO U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Alex Mercado, 40, of Jamestown, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, was sentenced to serve 110 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins stated that beginning in early 2016, the Mercado served as one of the primary mid-level distributors of heroin and cocaine for the Sigfredo Martinez drug organization. Mercado admitted that he was responsible for the “night shift” transactions, and stated that his co-defendant, Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez, distributed during the “day shift.”
The defendant admitted that he received a couple hundred bundles of heroin from Martinez every few days and was tasked with distributing it to smaller dealers and users. Mercado said he would then turn over the proceeds to Martinez and take payment for his role in the distribution. The defendant also directed co-defendant Ferrer-Vazquez to distribute heroin to specific customers and would collect the proceeds earned by Ferrer-Vazquez on behalf of Martinez. During this period of time, Mercado occasionally worked with other uncharged co-conspirators to process bulk quantities of heroin and repackage it for retail sale.
Between November 3, 2016, and March 2, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted four controlled purchases of heroin with the defendant. On April 6, 2017, federal search warrants were executed at 385 Buffalo Street, the residence of Ferrer-Vazquez, and 32 Duquesne Street, the residence of Sigfredo Martinez. At each location, law enforcement officers seized numerous ledgers and paper records of drug transactions. A federal search warrant was also executed at Mercado’s residence at 1083 North Main Street in Jamestown where approximately 10 ounces of marijuana and several suboxone strips were recovered.
Ferrer-Vazquez was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against Martinez.
The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings, and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.