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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lockport Nurse Pleads Guilty to Misprision of Felony Charge

 

        BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that Janelle Hawkins, 36, of Lockport, N.Y., a registered nurse, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to misprision of felony. The charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that from July, 2009 through August 17, 2010, the defendant knew that her boyfriend, Eric Williams, a co-defendant in the investigation, was using the residence she owned at 118 Chestnut Street in Lockport to engage in drug trafficking activities. After conducting an extensive criminal investigation, including obtaining a wiretap for Williams’ cellular telephone, members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a federal search warrant at Hawkins’ residence on August 17, 2010. Agents seized drug paraphernalia and $8,614.00 in cash. They also seized more than a half kilogram of cocaine after apprehending Williams in a downstairs bathroom at Hawkins’ residence as he was flushing cocaine down a toilet.

Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to five years in prison. Hawkins is one of 23 defendants convicted as a result of this drug investigation.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian P. Boetig, and the Niagara County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff James Votour.