Schuyler County Man Convicted of Drug Trafficking and Firearms Charges
ROCHESTER, N.Y.– U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that John Anthony Barton, 33, of Dix, N.Y., was convicted of conspiracy to manufacture 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute 500 grams of more of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, using his residence to manufacture, distribute and use methamphetamine and marijuana, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a fine of $10,000,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Noto and Charles E. Moynihan, who handled the case, stated that Barton was arrested on May 18, 2011, after members of the New York State Police, Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office, Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office, Village of Watkins Glen Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Barton’s residence on Roloson Hollow Road in Dix. During the search, law enforcement officers discovered an active methamphetamine laboratory, which was in the process of producing methamphetamine, in a shed on the property. In the shed, law enforcement officers also recovered a total of eight firearms, including a loaded .45 caliber handgun, more than 30 grams of methamphetamine, and more than $8,700 in cash. Officers also recovered approximately a pound of marijuana from the house located on the property.
Testimony at the trial also revealed that Barton, together with others, manufactured methamphetamine and distributed as much as 900 grams between 2009 and May 18, 2011.
“Methamphetamines are a highly dangerous and addictive substance,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “In addition to being a serious health threat, they are also a growing problem in many parts of the country. Today’s verdict ensures that this defendant will no longer be able to fill the streets of Schuyler County communities with this substance. The outcome should also serve as a warning to others that our Office will continue to work vigorously with our law enforcement partners to take down other similar laboratories.”
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated, “This case highlights the dangers of methamphetamine production, use and distribution. Methamphetamine use and abuse is not the only danger to our society, the production of meth is also a significant danger to first responders, neighbors, and non-users as well. One in every six methamphetamine labs results in an explosion making it a severe threat to community members. I commend the men and women of the DEA Rochester Resident Office, the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of New York, Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Police CNET the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department, Watkins Glen Police Department.”
At the time of Barton’s arrest, two others – Shawn Rickard and Chad Speicher – were also arrested. Rickard pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy involving 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Speicher pleaded guilty to narcotics conspiracy. Both defendants are awaiting sentencing.
These verdict is the result of an investigation on the part of the Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Joseph Fazzary, Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell, New York Field Division, New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) under the direction of Major Wayne C. Olson, the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff William Yessman, and the Watkins Glen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas R. Struble.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 24, 2013 before Judge Siragusa.