U. S. Attorney's Office Announces Historic Cocaine Seizures
ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that four defendants have been charged in three separate complaints with narcotics trafficking resulting in the largest seizure of cocaine ever in the Rochester area.
“These seizures demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement to protect the community from these dangerous drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “At the same time, the public should be aware that cocaine, in addition to heroin and prescription drugs that are illegally abused, can have lethal consequences and no one is immune from the addictions cause by these drugs.”
Christopher Kendrick was arrested on February 4, 2014 on Interstate 490 near Chili, N.Y. with 24 kilograms of suspected cocaine. He is charged with possession with intent to distribute 10 kilograms or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine. This seizure is believed to be the single largest seizure of cocaine ever in the Rochester area.
In another case, Jaime Fontanez and Daniel Acevedo were also arrested on February 4, 2014 following the execution of a search warrant at 72 Jewell Street in Rochester, N.Y. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers recovered three kilograms of suspected cocaine. The defendants are charged with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, attempting to possess 500 grams or more or cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
A fourth defendant, Manuel Rivera, was arrested on January 31, 2014 after officers recovered two kilograms of cocaine during a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on Seneca Manor Drive in Rochester. He is charged with conspiracy to possess 500 grams or more of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Fontanez, Acevedo and Rivera all face a mandatory minimum five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.
The complaints are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Office, the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Kevin Niland, Inspector in Charge, Boston Division, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Michael Ciminelli, the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET), under the direction of Major Wayne C. Olson, and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Sandra Doorley.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.