BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that following a two week trial, a federal jury has convicted Henry Lloyd, 34, and Roman Dunnigan, 41, both of Buffalo, NY, of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. Lloyd faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of 40 years, while Dunnigan faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremiah E. Lenihan and Charles E. Watkins, Jr., who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that on May 7, 2017, the defendants purchased last-minute airline tickets to travel from Buffalo to Houston, TX. Defendant Lloyd, who was on supervised release at the time as a result of a prior conviction, never sought permission from his probation officer to travel. The following day, May 8, 2017, Lloyd, along with two females, were stopped at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport by TSA Agents and found to be in possession jointly of $64,000, which was seized by the DEA. Lloyd, Dunnigan, and the two females rebooked a flight for the next day, traveling from Rochester, NY, to Houston, TX. The DEA learned of this flight and notified the DEA Resident Office in Houston.
A narcotics surveillance unit monitored the travel of Lloyd, Dunnigan, and the two females upon their arrival in Houston. As part of the surveillance, on May 10, 2017, Houston Police Department detectives observed Lloyd and Dunnigan purchase an Intex Inflatable Chair at a nearby Walmart. The next day on May 11, 2017, Houston police officers pulled over a rental vehicle driven by Dunnigan with Lloyd in the passenger seat. The stop occurred next to a U.S. Post Office, which authorities believed Dunnigan and Lloyd would be utilizing to send cocaine. Upon stopping the vehicle and speaking with both Lloyd and Dunnigan, the defendants told multiple lies to the officer, and were unable to keep their story straight. A K-9 sniff of the exterior of the vehicle revealed the presence of narcotics. During a search of the trunk, police officers located the Intex Inflatable Chair box, which contained approximately one kilogram of cocaine. Lloyd and Dunnigan were arrested and charged locally by the Houston Police Department.
Approximately three weeks later, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, along with the DEA, executed a search warrant at 1807 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. During the search, investigators recovered 177 grams of cocaine, 344 grams of butryryl fentanyl, two empty Intex Inflatable Furniture boxes, paraphernalia used to package and process narcotics for distribution, $5,500 in cash, a receipt in Dunnigan’s name, and a firearm with Dunnigan’s DNA.
Defendants Lloyd and Dunnigan both have three prior convictions. Dunnigan has prior convictions for 2nd degree Robbery and 3rd degree Possession of a Loaded Firearm in NYS, and a federal conviction for structuring a financial transaction to evade reporting requirements. Lloyd has prior convictions for 4th degree Possession of a Firearm in NYS, and federal convictions for possession with intent to distribute narcotics, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The guilty verdict is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; the Houston Police Department, under the direction of Chief Art Acevedo; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) Police, under the direction of Chief George Gast; the Transportation Security Administration, under the direction of Brett O’Neil; the Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory, under the direction of Commissioner James Jancewicz; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; and the U.S. Probation Office, under the direction of Chief Probation Officer Anthony SanGiacomo.
Lloyd is scheduled to be sentenced on December 11, 2020, and Dunnigan is scheduled to be sentenced on December 16, 2020, both before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, who presided over the trial of the case.