Utica man sentenced for his role in large fentanyl conspiracy


Date: May 1, 2024

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Eric Ares, of Utica, New York, was sentenced today to serve 120 months in federal prison for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and to distribute fentanyl, and possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Carla Freedman, Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division and Thomas Fattorusso, Executive Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), New York Field Office. Ares was also ordered to serve a 5-year term of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and pay a $200 special assessment. The Court also imposed a $150,000 money judgment.

As part of his guilty plea, Ares admitted that from May 2020 through October 2021, he, together with his co-conspirators in the Rodriguez drug trafficking organization, possessed with intent to distribute and distributed fentanyl in the Utica, New York area. Ares admitted to making numerous trips to the New York City area to purchase fentanyl, which he then drove back to the Utica area where he and others distributed it. Ares admitted that on September 20, 2021, he drove to the New York City area and received 3 kilograms of fentanyl for distribution. Law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle Ares was driving and recovered 3 kilograms of fentanyl hidden inside a speaker in the trunk.

This case is being investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), the New York State Police, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Utica Police Department, the City of Syracuse Police Department, the City of Rome Police Department, United States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE), the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the New York Army National Guard Counter Drug Program, the Village of Yorkville Police Department, and the Village of Whitesboro Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Thomson.