A Tonawanda cocaine trafficker was found guilty by a federal court jury Wednesday of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.
Anthony Bishop, 42, a prior felon, faces a mandatory term of at least 20 years and up to life when he is sentenced on Feb. 28. The jury deliberated about two hours after a weeklong trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. and Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, the trial prosecutor, said Bishop also could face a possible criminal fine of up to $20 million. Duskiewicz said that in February 2012, Bishop – after a falling-out with confederates in an interstate drug ring – called the Buffalo office of the Drug Enforcement Administration and told agents the drug ring shipping 50 kilograms of cocaine a month from Chicago to Buffalo. As a result, seven of his confederates were convicted over the last year and now await sentencing, authorities said. .
DEA agents eventually confirmed that Bishop was part of the drug ring and his tip was an attempt to eliminate competitors, prosecutors said.
While arresting Bishop last year, agents seized more than $550,000 in cash, about two kilos of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, four weapons and a Ford Mustang, prosecutors said.