Rochester Man convicted of marijuana conspiracy
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joseph Schmidt, 30, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $5,000,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that between January 2008 and July 2011, Schmidt, along with several other individuals, distributed significant quantities of marijuana which was obtained from various sources, including the Akwesasne Mohawk Indian Reservation in the Northern District of New York. The defendant also maintained sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operations at residences on Crystal Valley Overlook, in Henrietta, New York, and Culver Parkway, in Rochester, both of which were searched by police in July 2011. As part of his plea, Schmidt will forfeit the Henrietta home, as well as cash and 10 firearms.
The defendant was arrested on February 5, 2013 along with six other defendants. He is the first to be convicted.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, New York Field Division, along with officers and investigators with the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Sheppard, along with members of the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRANET), under the direction of Lieutenant Joseph Morabito.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 15, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Siragusa.