A 29-year-old Prescott, Ariz., man admitted Wednesday to U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara that he was part of a drug trafficking ring routinely shipping cocaine and marijuana from Arizona to Western New York before his arrest last year. Shane Grafman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing, five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. He also pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy count.
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. said Grafman faces a prison term of at least 10 years when he is sentenced June 25.
Between April 2009 and Feb. 1, 2012 Grafman and others routinely brought cocaine and marijuana from Arizona to Buffalo, sometimes in private jets. During the investigation, lawmen seized about $1 million in U.S. currency, $671,385 of which was found in a hidden compartment of a SUV Grafman drove, Hochul said,
Grafman admitted he personally distributed locally more than 200 pounds of cocaine and more than a ton of marijuana.
Hochul said Elijah Chaffino of Tempe, Ariz., is awaiting sentencing on his conviction in the ring and trials are still pending against Jordan Ali of Alden, Jason Nati of Buffalo and Jacquelyn Witman of Buffalo and Atlanta, Ga.