SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On December 7th, the United States Department of Justice Northern District of New York announced that a Utica man has pled guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and to distribute fentanyl, and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

On Wednesday, 37-year-old Eric Ares of Utica admitted that from May 2020 through October 2021, he, and other co-conspirators in a “drug trafficking organization,” possessed and intended to fentanyl in the Utica area.  Ares stated that he made numerous trips to New York City to buy fentanyl, which he then drove back to the Utica area and then re-distributed with others. Additionally, Ares admitted that on September 20, 2021, he drove to the New York City area and received 3 kilograms of fentanyl, which he hid in a truck speaker. The narcotics were then found and seized in by law enforcement officers during a traffic stop.

Ares’s sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2023, before United States District Judge David N. Hurd and he faces 10 years to life in federal prison, a fine of up to $10 million, and 5 years to life of supervision if he is ever released.