El Paso man pleads guilty for role in cocaine conspiracy stretching from El Paso to Buffalo

Published 6:51 am Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Edgar Pavia, 44, of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five kilograms or more of cocaine, and conspiring to commit money laundering. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $20,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that between October 2017, and December 7, 2018, the defendant conspired with Eduardo Enrique Valdez, Adrian Goudelock, Eric Young, Lance Parker, Jai Hunter, Daniel Sterling, Martin Lopez, Ivan Rene Rios Bustillos, Adrian Grier, Shamar Davis, and Gabrielle McGrady, to sell cocaine and hide the proceeds of their illegal drug trafficking.

On October 2, 2017, Pavia and co-defendant Eduardo Enrique Valdez traveled from El Paso to Cleveland, OH. The defendant admits that while in Cleveland, two co-defendants traveled from Buffalo to Cleveland to pick up 10 kilograms of cocaine to take back to Buffalo. The cocaine was secreted in the spare tire of their vehicle.

Investigators determined that during the course of the cocaine conspiracy, Pavia and his co-defendants frequently rotated their phones, which were almost exclusively utilized in furtherance of the drug conspiracy. The defendant’s phones had frequent contact with both a Mexican source of supply, co-defendant Adrian Goudelock, co-defendant Adrian Grier, and co-defendant Daniel Sterling. Numerous court-authorized wire and electronic communications were intercepted during the investigation. Those interceptions revealed that Pavia was brokering bulk quantity cocaine to multiple areas in the country including Buffalo, as well as locations in Kentucky and Georgia. On July 25, 2018, investigators seized 17 kilograms of cocaine from the vehicle of co-defendant Lance Parker. Shortly after the seizure, Pavia was intercepted discussing the seizure with Adrian Goudelock, who suggested to Pavia that they “chill for a few weeks” but then “keep goin.” They also discussed their new phones before ceasing use of their then-current phones.

Co-defendants Lance Parker, Eduardo Enrique Valdez, Ivan Rene Rios Bustillos, Daniel Sterling, and Adrian Grier were previously convicted. Charges remain pending against co-defendants Adrian Goudelock, Eric Young, Jai Hunter, Martin Lopez, Shamar Davis, and Gabrielle McGrady. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Buffalo, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Unit, under the direction of Brian Manaher, Director, Marine Operations. Additional assistance was provided by the New York National Guard; HSI-Louisville; the Kentucky State Police; the Louisville Metro Police; and the Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 2, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Sinatra.