Five Charged with Marijuana Trafficking
ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced today that Carlos White, 38, Jesica Leonard, 25, and Steve Fulcott, aka Tommy G, 21, all of Rochester, N.Y., and Andre McFarlane, 34, and Marlando Allen, 34, of Jamaica, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Defendants White, Leonard, and McFarlane were also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. White was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The marijuana trafficking charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine. Being a felon in possession of a weapon carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that the charges stem from a joint federal/state investigation into the homicide of Jaqueline Simmons, Jermeliah Simmons and Michael Nelson, who were discovered shot to death at an apartment at 809 Chili Avenue in the City of Rochester on February 24, 2014. The investigation led law enforcement officers to two apartments at 2167 Clifford Avenue in Rochester, which were searched on February 28, 2014.
During the searches, officers seized over 80 pounds of marijuana, scales and baggies for the weighing and packaging of marijuana for sale, a loaded .45 caliber pistol with an obliterated serial number, and a 9mm pistol loaded with 20 rounds of live ammunition. Forensic analysis determined that the 9mm pistol recovered at 2167 Clifford Avenue was the weapon used in the three murders. At the scene of the homicide, law enforcement collected 10 shell casings, all of which were compared to a test fired round from the 9mm pistol. Based on that comparison, a forensic examiner determined that the shell casings found at the homicide scene at 809 Chili Avenue were fired from the 9mm pistol recovered at 2167 Clifford Avenue. A Blackberry cell phone recovered during the searches contained pictures of what appears to be the murder weapon, as well as pictures of marijuana and cash.
The defendants were taken into custody at 2167 Clifford Avenue on February 28, 2014. McFarlane and Allen are both in the country illegally.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Michael Ciminelli, the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), under the direction of Major Wayne C. Olson, Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Thomas J. Cannon, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Patrol Agent in Charge Tom Pocorobba, Jr, and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office under the direction of Sandra Doorley.
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.