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UB Medical School Faculty member charged in drug importation case

Parcels containing illegal drugs intercepted

December 18, 2018 - 10:24 pm
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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - A clinical member of the University at Buffalo Medical School has been charged in a case of importing drugs.  U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced Tuesday that Torin Finver, 54, of Hamburg was arrested and charged by with importation of a controlled substance. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga says a formal complaint states that on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers intercepted a padded mailer addressed to the defendant’s Hamburg residence. A CBP K-9 alerted officers to the package. The parcel was from Germany and a check of law enforcement databases revealed that the sender information was fictitious.  The parcel contained three grams of a white powdery substance, which field tested positive for cocaine.

Addititionally, on December 10, 2018, during review of incoming mail in Rochester, NY, Postal Inspectors located a parcel, again addressed to Finver’s Hamburg residence. A K-9 sniff of the parcel resulted in a positive alert. And on December 12, 2018, a search warrant was executed on the parcel. The parcel contained three small envelopes with a brown rock-like substance, which field tested positive for heroin.

Two more similar parcels addressed to the defendant were located in December, one in Rochester, and one in Hamburg. A search warrant was executed on one of the parcels, which was found to contain suspected cocaine. The second parcel is in the custody of law enforcement.

Finally, oon December 17, 2018, a controlled delivery was conducted at Finver’s residence. Law enforcement officers replaced the cocaine that was seized from the first parcel and replaced with sham. An officer knocked on the door and the defendant answered. Finver took the parcel into the residence. Officers then executed a federal search warrant of Finver’s residence. The defendant was subsequently taken into custody.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was released on conditions.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Boston Division Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin.

Finver is also a consultant to Horizon Corporations and the following statement was released late Tuesday:

The leadership team at Horizon Corporations was informed this afternoon of Dr. Torin Finver’s arrest.

We are disappointed by the news.

Dr. Finver is no longer delivering services to our patients.

At all times, our patients remain the top priority.  We are monitoring this situation, and working to ensure that our patients are well cared for. 

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