PLATTSBURGH, NY. - Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Wilbert L. Plummer and United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today that on November 8, 2011 a jury sitting in Albany, New York found Hector Morales, age 32, of Troy, New York, guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. United States District Court Judge Gary L. Sharpe presided over the two day trial. Morales was initially indicted on December 15, 2010 on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine. Morales was subsequently arrested on December 16, 2010. At that time, United States Magistrate Judge Larry A. Kudrle ordered that Morales be detained pending trial.
During the trial, the government offered evidence that from approximately January 2010 until September 7, 2010, Morales conspired with several individuals to sell large quantities of cocaine and crack in Troy, New York and Plattsburgh, New York. The DEA and the Plattsburgh Police Department initiated an investigation against Morales utilizing a confidential source (CS) to record conversations between the CS and Morales, in which Morales discussed his drug trafficking activities. Based on the information obtain from the CS on September 7, 2010, the DEA used an undercover agent to purchase a quantity of crack cocaine from Nelson Cordero, after which the DEA conducted a search of a residence in Keeseville, NY. During the search agents recovered a quantity of crack cocaine, power cocaine, and a large sum of currency. Anthony Cordero was also discovered in a back room of the residence.
Morales is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2012. Morales has a prior drug felony conviction and, as a result, his conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000,000. Morales will remain detained pending trial.
On November 1, 2011, Nelson Cordero pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine, and Anthony Cordero pled guilty conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute less than 28 grams of crack cocaine. Nelson Cordero’s guilty plea of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment, a maximum sentence of forty years and a fine up to $5,000,000. Anthony Cordero’s guilty plea of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute less than 28 grams of crack cocaine carries a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years of imprisonment and a fine up to $1,000,000.
The investigation and prosecution of Morales was the result of a joint investigation between the DEA, the Plattsburgh Police Department, the New York States Troopers and the Rensselaer County Drug Task Force.
Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Wilbert L. Plummer stated, "The charges resulting in this conviction could put Hector Morales behind bars for more than twenty years. This investigation, arrest and successful prosecution prove law enforcement's commitment to cleaning our streets of drug dealers who make profits while peddling poison throughout our community."