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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Major cocaine and heroin trafficker pleads guilty, agrees to forfeit $2.5 million in assets

          ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Ronald Walker, 43, of Corona, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr., to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a fine of $10,000,000.00, or both. The defendant also agreed to the forfeiture of assets with a total value of $2,500,000 to the United States which represented the amount of proceeds from the drug trafficking conspiracy.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank H. Sherman, who handled the case, stated that between  2005 and August 2012, the defendant participated in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin. During that time, Walker, in New York City, arranged for the distribution of quantities of cocaine and heroin which was transported to Rochester and distributed. At least 40 kilograms of cocaine and a kilogram of heroin were involved in this conduct. The defendant also laundered drug proceeds by placing at least $911,000 in cash in safe deposit boxes opened by other individuals to conceal the proceeds.

            In August 2012, law enforcement officials seized the cash from these safe deposit boxes, as well as approximately $615,000 in cash from two residences connected to Walker.  The defendant agreed to forfeit all of that cash, as well as a 2012 Range Rover vehicle, articles of jewelry and two properties located in Corona, N.Y., and Union City, Georgia, all proceeds of his illegal activities.

            The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Brian R. Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division, investigators with the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Sheppard, and Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Toni Weirauch, New York Field Office.

           
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.