Utica men found guilty of possessing, trafficking cocaine

Two Utica men face 40 years in prison after both were found guilty of drug trafficking on Monday after a five-day trial in federal court.

Posted: Feb 4, 2020 2:53 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2020 4:56 PM

UTICA, N.Y. – Two Utica men face 40 years in prison after both were found guilty of drug trafficking at the end of a five-day trial in federal court.

On Monday, Abner Peralta, 30, and Luis Colon, 35, were found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and the distribution of cocaine. Peralta was also found guilty of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.

Defense attorney Frank Policelli says Peralta was found not guilty of the greater charge of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Peralta was also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. According to Policelli, that charge was dismissed.

According to the Department of Justice, Peralta had access to kilograms of cocaine, and also maintained a ‘stash house’ in Utica where he kept drugs and packaging materials.

Police found crack while executing a search warrant at the stash house in October of 2017. Officers also searched Peralta’s home, finding a digital scale and other items in the garage that tested positive for cocaine residue.

A fingerprint analyst testified during the trial, saying he also found Peralta’s fingerprints on some of the packing material seized from the stash house.

In addition to a maximum of 40 years, both men face fines of up to $5 million. Peralta also faces at least five years for his additional charge.

The two will be sentenced at a later date.

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