Buffalo man pleads guilty to drug conspiracy charges

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man pleaded guilty to charges of narcotics conspiracy, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and concealment of material fact, the United States Attorney’s Office announced.

Officials said 40-year-old Joseph Zaso, the leader of the drug trafficking, conspired with other dealers to sell significant quantities of heroin and fentanyl in the Jamestown area between 2018 and 2022.

Zaso possessed firearms at the time to protect his supply of narcotics. On May 26, 2022, search warrants resulted in the seizure of drug paraphernalia from his Buffalo residence.

He was on probation in Western New York during this time following a 2015 conviction in Michigan. Officials said Zaso falsely reported his employment and concealed his income while on probation.

The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.

Zaso’s sentencing is scheduled for Sep. 30.

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Katie Skoog joined the News 4 team in April 2024. She is a graduate from the University at Buffalo. You can view more of her work here.

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