Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.

Help support the publication of case reports on MoreLaw

Date: 07-02-2020

Case Style:

United States of America v. Daniel Sterling, a/k/a Pancho, a/k/a Jose

Case Number: 1:18-cr-00138-JLS-MJR

Judge: John L. Sinatra, Jr.

Court: United States District Court for the Western District of New York (Erie County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

Call 918-582-6422 for help finding a great criminal defense lawyer in Buffalo, New York.

Description: Buffalo, NY - The United States of America charged Daniel Sterling, a/k/a Pancho, a/k/a Jose with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Between October 2017, and December 7, 2018, the defendant conspired with 11 others to sell cocaine. Sterling and co-defendant Edgar Pavia brokered bulk quantity cocaine to multiple areas in the country including Buffalo, Kentucky, and Georgia. Pavia coordinated shipments of cocaine to Sterling in Kentucky and co-defendant Adrian Goudelock in Buffalo. For example, on June 28, 2018, Pavia told Sterling that a shipment of 40 kilograms of cocaine would be the last shipment at $28,000 per kilogram, since the price would be going up. Sterling received multiple shipments of cocaine brokered by Pavia in amounts of 10 kilograms, 15 kilograms, and 20 kilograms.

In September 2018, shortly after a shipment of cocaine was delivered to Sterling in Louisville, KY, approximately $1,144,735 in cash, proceeds of narcotics trafficking, was seized from a commercial truck driver in Chicago, Illinois. Approximately $350,000 came from Sterling in Kentucky. The money was destined to be transported back to El Paso and, eventually, Mexico.

On December 6, 2018, investigators observed Sterling meeting with another co-defendant Martin Lopez to receive 20 kilograms of cocaine that was inside a hidden compartment in Lopez’s vehicle. A search inside Sterling’s vehicle found approximately $620,470 concealed in a black duffle bag. A warrant conducted at Sterling’s residence located an additional $114,200.

Of the 12 defendants charged in this case, Sterling is the first to be convicted. 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 Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Guyton; 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. Additional assistance was provided by HIS-Louisville; the Kentucky State Police; the Louisville Metro Police; and the Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force.


Outcome: 06/24/2020 230 PLEA AGREEMENT as to Daniel Sterling. (KLH) (Entered: 06/25/2020)
06/24/2020 231 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. John L. Sinatra, Jr.: Change of Plea Hearing as to Daniel Sterling held on 6/24/2020. Defendant sworn. Plea entered by Daniel Sterling(7) Guilty Count 1 of the Third Superseding Indictment. Court accepts defendant's guilty plea and the defendant is adjudged guilty of Count 1. A Sentencing Status Conference is set for 10/22/2020 at 2:00 PM in U.S. Courthouse, 2 Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 14202-3350 before Hon. John L. Sinatra. Defendant remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing. Appearances: For government, AUSA Michael Jason Adler. For defendant, Thomas F. Keefe. Defendant present.(Court Reporter Bonnie Weber)

-PROBATION NOTIFIED OF PLEA- (KLH) (Entered: 06/25/2020)

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


Find a Lawyer


Find a Case