News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2008
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Sodus Man Sentenced on Federal Marijuana Conspiracy

DEC 16 --(Rochester, NY) United States Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division John P. Gilbride announced that Jamahl Leonard, 29, of Sodus, New York, was sentenced  before the Hon. David G. Larimer to 114 months (9 1/2 years) in prison for his leadership role in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United  States Code, Section 846.   Leonard also received a concurrent 9 1/2 year sentence for money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956 .   Leonard agreed to forfeit approximately $40,000 in cash, a Chevy Tahoe sport utility truck and was also fined $2,500.  When released from prison, Leonard will be placed on supervised release for a period of 4 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of New York, Douglas E. Gregory, who handled the case, stated that Leonard was at the head of a local criminal organization which was responsible for the distribution of several thousand pounds of high grade marijuana obtained through the Akwesasne Mohawk Indian Reservation near Massena, New York.  The marijuana was later distributed throughout the counties of Wayne, Monroe, and Ontario, in addition to supplying co-conspirators in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bloomington, Indiana, and Asheville, North Carolina.   During the course of the 2007 investigation, which included a wiretap on several cellular telephones, police arrested 17 individuals and were able to seize $566,000 in cash, 190 pounds of marihuana, 6 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms, 6 vehicles, 20 long guns, 5 assault  rifles, 1 handgun and several money counting machines.

The investigation, named "Operation Grass Roots", was initiated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s Rochester Resident Office, Wayne County Narcotics Enforcement Team, New York State Police, Rochester Office, the US Attorney’s Office-Rochester, and the Internal Revenue Service.