Jamestown Man Pleads Guilty To Distributing Heroin

BUFFALO – Alex Mercado, 39, of Jamestown, plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, according to an announcement Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that beginning in early 2016, Mercado served as one of the primary mid-level distributors of heroin and cocaine for the Sigfredo Martinez drug organization. Mercado was responsible for the “night shift” transactions, while his co-defendant, Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez, distributed during the “day shift.”
Mercado would receive a couple hundred bundles of heroin from Martinez every few days and was tasked with distributing it to smaller dealers and users. Mercado would then turn over the proceeds to Martinez and take payment for his role in the distribution.
Mercado 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 St., the residence of Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez, and 32 Duquesne St., 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 St. in Jamestown where approximately 10 ounces of marijuana and several suboxone strips were recovered.
Charges are pending against Sigfredo Martinez and Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez, and both are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The plea 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, and the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 28, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.