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Puerto Rican man faces 20 years in prison over Seneca County traffic stop that yielded 500 grams of cocaine

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A man caught with a significant quantity of cocaine during a traffic stop in Seneca County is facing the possibility of a lengthy prison term. Michael Almonte Diaz, a 30-year-old from Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine in federal court on Wednesday. This charge could result in a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, Trini Ross, announced Diaz’s plea in a news release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassie Kocher, who is overseeing the case, explained that Diaz and an unidentified individual were driving east on the state Thruway in August when a state trooper pulled them over for a traffic violation near Exit 41 in Tyre.

During a search of the vehicle, law enforcement officers discovered over 500 grams of cocaine hidden in a gift-wrapped package and seized more than $18,500 in cash. According to police, Diaz and the other person were traveling from Rochester to an unknown destination.

The guilty plea follows an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and state police. Diaz’s sentencing is set for August 8.