Buffalo Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Dismantles Major Ephedrine Trafficking Organization Operating in United States and Canada
United States Attorney Michael A. Battle, Western District of New York and Anthony P. Placido, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's New York Field Division announced today the unsealing of an 8-count OCDETF Indictment in Operation Lame Horse, charging HUGH STEVENS a/k/a "Huey," age 58, SANDRA JACOBI a/k/a "Sandi," age 47, both of Derby, New York, KENNETH ARTHUR MEGO, age 32, of Orchard Park, New York, LYNN M. HESS, age 45, of Blasdell, New York, LOUIS RUSSO, age 36, and CHRISTOPHER RUSSO, age 32, both of Batavia, New York, with conspiracy to possess and distribute a listed chemical, to wit, ephedrine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(c)(2), 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B), and 846, carrying a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, and up to life, imprisonment and a fine of $4,000,000.00, or both. HUGH STEVENS is also charged with managing a continuing criminal enterprise in violation of Title 21, United States Code, 848(a), which carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years, up to life, imprisonment and a fine of $2,000,000, or both. It should be noted that the fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime . . . is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. (Disciplinary Rule 7-107(B)(6)).
Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Thomas S. Duszkiewicz stated
that the Indictment charges the defendants with their involvement in
the importation and distribution of a List I chemical, ephedrine, which
is used as a precursor in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, a Schedule
II controlled substance. AUSA Duszkiewicz also stated that the more than
year long investigation will also result in other arrests in the United
States and throughout Canada and has resulted in the seizure on July
10, 2004 at the Lewiston Bridge of in excess of 200 kilograms of ephedrine.
The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of criminally derived assets of
up to $14,711,250 upon conviction of the named defendants.
The evidence was presented to the Grand Jury by Assistant United States Attorney Duszkiewicz who will handle the trial of the case before Honorable William M. Skretny, United States District Judge. The defendants will be arraigned before Honorable H. Kenneth Schroeder, United States Magistrate Judge today at 3:00 p.m.