You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 28, 2013

rochester man pleads guilty to escape and participation in drug conspiracy with his two brothers

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joseph Mitchell, 36, of Rochester, N.Y., and his brothers, Jamar Mitchell, 27, and Jerrod Mitchell, 23, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges before Hon. Frank P. Geraci, Jr.

            Joseph Mitchell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of cocaine base, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, money laundering conspiracy and escape. Jamar Mitchell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of cocaine base and Jerrod Mitchell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base. The drug conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000 dollars or both.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants participated in a drug conspiracy  responsible for the large scale distribution of significant quantities of cocaine and cocaine base in the Rochester and Elmira, N.Y. areas from approximately 2008 until March 2011. The Mitchell brothers were indicted after a nearly two year investigation conducted by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and officers from the Rochester Police Department. Agents and officers conducted several  search warrants in conjunction with the arrests of Joseph and Jamar Mitchell on January 26, 2011. During the searches, officers and agents recovered a loaded handgun and over $500,000 in cash that was secreted in a hidden trap in the base of a fish tank at Joseph Mitchell's residence.

            In addition to his participation in this drug trafficking conspiracy, Joseph Mitchell also escaped from the custody of the Monroe County Jail on March 31, 2011. Two other individuals,  Eddie Palmer and Lakesia Binion, have already been convicted for their involvement in the escape. 

            “Today’s developments bring to an end the significant criminal activities perpetrated by these defendants on the streets of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Our Office will continue to vigorously prosecute any individual or groups of individuals who fill our neighborhoods with illegal drugs and weapons. In addition, as in this case, we will not tolerate those who assist anyone in their criminal activity.”   

            The pleas are 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, officers of the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Sheppard, the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina and investigators of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn.

            Sentencing is scheduled in front of Judge Geraci for July 1, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. for Joseph Mitchell and July 2, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. for Jerrod and Jamar Mitchell respectively.