BUFFALO—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Pauline Manuel, 57, of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati, who is handling the case, stated that Manuel shipped a package containing nearly $110,000 from Buffalo to Houston, Texas at the request and direction of her son, David Manuel, and others. David Manuel pleaded guilty on June 1, 2012 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He admitted to conspiring with others to purchase up to 20 kilograms of cocaine at a time in Houston for transport and resale in Buffalo.
Pauline Manuel was arrested along with 19 others for their involvement in a multi-kilogram cocaine distribution network. She is the 17th defendant to be convicted.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Wilbert L. Plummer; Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Frank Christiano.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 28, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.