BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A mother and her son both faced a judge in Erie County Court today, with both scheduled to be sentenced on heroin-related charges. Prosecutors say they had nearly 1,000 baggies of heroin in their home when they were arrested earlier this year.
Erie County Judge Kenneth Case noted that the heroin issues have reached epidemic proportions in Erie County, and he told Brown at her sentencing that while he is not holding her responsible for all of it, “clearly something needs to be done.”
Case sentenced Brown to determinant sentences of three years in state prison for each of the counts to which she pleaded guilty, with all of the sentences to run concurrently.
Brown pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a controlled substance after police found 970 bags of heroin in her home. Prosecutors say Brown told a 14 year old in the home to call her supplier about her arrest.
Brown’s attorney, John Jordan, asked for a lenient sentence with the opportunity for drug treatment when he addressed the court Wednesday. “Ms. Brown has a drug addiction,” he said. “She has a daily cannabis addiction and the led, and rose up, to a daily heroin addiction. And I believe she was selling drugs, she was aiding her son, not to get rich, but to feed her drug habit.”
Judge Case told Brown he would have considered a drug treatment program if she were merely a user, but he said she had “jeopardized many lives” in selling heroin.
Her son, Erik Arias, was also supposed to be sentenced for criminal possession of a controlled substance on Wednesday, but Judge Case agreed to postpone his sentencing until July at his attorney’s request. Arias was arrested again while in the Erie County Holding Center waiting for his sentencing on the drug charges, and his lawyer said she needed time to look into the situation.
Arias is now due back in court on July 5 at 9:30 a.m.
For his part, Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty was celebrating after Brown’s sentencing that “Thanks to the good work of the Buffalo Police Department and our prosecutors, this drug dealing mother and son team connot peddle their poison anymore.”
“There were 256 opioid related deaths last year in Erie County,” Flaherty said in a written statement. “We are dealing with an epidemic and will continue to hold drug dealers accountable for their criminal conduct.”