News Release
April 25, 2006
Contact: Special Agent Erin McKenzie-Mulvey
212-337-2906

Major Marijuana Smuggling Organizations Dismantled

Special Agent in Charge of the DEA, New York Field Division John P. Gilbride and United States Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby, Northern District of New York announced the indictments of 9 individuals in connection with a major marijuana smuggling and distribution organization operating in the Cornwall Ontario, and Massena New York areas.

Evidence developed during the course of this 2 year investigation suggests that the organization distributed thousands of pounds of marijuana within the Central New York area, and more recently in downstate New York.

Seizures to date include over 200 pounds of marijuana, over $2.1 million in US currency, 35 vehicles and 12 firearms.

SAC Gilbride stated, “DEA is committed to investigating drug trafficking organizations whose reach extends beyond international boundaries to communities throughout the United States. Along with our Federal, State and Tribal partners we will continue to investigate and bring to justice those individuals utilizing tribal lands to smuggle drugs and launder drug proceeds to further their illegal activities.”

A federal indictment, unsealed on April 21, 2006 charges those with participating in a criminal conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, between 2003 and 2006, within the Northern District of New York and elsewhere.

Those named in the indictment are:

NAME, AGE, LAST KNOWN ADDRESS

WILLIAM H. COOK, 30, Cornwall, Ontario Canada
PATRICK JOHNSON, 36, 41 Snye Road Hogansburg, NY
THOMAS J. COOK, 31, RR3, Cornwall Island, Ontario, Canada
DONNA JOHSON, 26, Number 1, St. Regis Quebec, Canada
WILLIAM P. THOMAS, 29, 415 Alburg Road, Moira, NY
WILLIAM B. JOHNSON, 49, 365 St. Regis Rd., Hogansburg, NY
TERRY JOHNSON, 40, 365 St. Regis Rd., Hogansburg, NY
ISHI BROWN, 27, Onondaga County
KEVIN PHILLIPS, 40, Franklin County

This prosecution resulted from an investigation undertaken by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office. Other agencies assisting in the investigation and arrests include the Oswego County Drug Task Force, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department, Syracuse Police Department, United States Marshals Service, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Border Patrol and the New York State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Fletcher, 315-448-0672.

If convicted, each of the defendants face up to a maximum of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $4 million, and at least five years of supervised release following any period of incarceration.