Rochester man pleads guilty to drug charge
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Ronald Cleveland, a/k/a Pretty Tony, a/k/a P.T., a/k/a Success, a/k/a Cess, 44 of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a fine of $8,000,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that Cleveland was a member of a Rochester-based drug conspiracy led by James Webb, a/k/a Butch, in which large quantities of powder cocaine were distributed, and also processed into crack cocaine, packaged and resold in various quantities in the City of Rochester. The defendant, who has prior felony drug and weapons convictions, and was still on parole after serving a 10 year prison sentence for a 1995 shooting, served primarily as the “muscle” or protection for the organization.
On June 14, 2011, Webb and others were arrested when law enforcement raided the epicenter of the drug operation at 392 and 401 Norton Street in Rochester. During the raids, officer seized over 40 grams of crack cocaine packaged for sale, a loaded 9mm handgun, $9,172 in U.S. currency, and paraphernalia for processing, packaging, and distributing cocaine. Cleveland was arrested on May 24, 2012 at his residence at 9 Parkside Avenue in Rochester by NYS Parole and Rochester Police.
Webb was convicted in March 2012 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base and is awaiting sentencing.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Cannon, and the New York State Division of Parole, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci.Sentencing is scheduled for August 6 at 3:00 pm before Judge Geraci.