Jamestown man sentenced to 11 years for meth ring

Area police

BUFFALO — A Jamestown man will serve more than 11 years in prison for his role in the distribution of methamphetamine.

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Zakiel Fields, Jr., 24, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and failure to appear after pretrial release, was sentenced to serve 135 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emmanuel Ulubiyo, Patricia Astorga, and Paul Parisi, who handled the case, stated that between March and November 6, 2017, the defendant conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine in the Jamestown area. On July 17 and Sept. 21, 2017, Fields sold methamphetamine to an individual working with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

On Nov. 6, 2017, investigators spotted the defendant and co-defendant Ernest Cauley, Jr. enter a residence on E. Summit Avenue in Lakewood. A short time later, Fields and Cauley left the residence with Fields holding a white U.S. Postal Service Priority shipping box. After meeting up with another vehicle in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, the two vehicles drove off but were quickly stopped by law enforcement officers and searched. Officers removed a brown fast food bag from one of the vehicles, which contained a black vacuum sealed bag which had already been torn open. The bag contained suspected methamphetamine. Officers also opened the U.S. Postal Service priority shipping box, which also contained suspected methamphetamine.

Fields was arrested, charged, and released on conditions, including electronic monitoring. On March 2, a United States Probation officer received a tamper alert relating to the defendant’s electronic monitoring device. Fields had cut off his ankle monitor and left it in the residence. The defendant and co-defendant Cauley were indicted and scheduled for an arraignment on the indictment on April 5, but Fields failed to appear until he was arrested on unrelated charges in California on July 13, 2018, and brought to appear in the Western District of New York on August 1, 2018.

Fields was charged along with 14 other defendants. He is the third defendant 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 sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division, and the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings.

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