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Press Release

Albany Felon Sentenced to 85 Months for Possessing Cocaine and Heroin for Distribution, and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Rodney Matthews, age 50, of Albany, was sentenced today to 85 months in prison for possessing and intending to distribute cocaine and heroin, and for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Chief Eric Hawkins of the Albany Police Department (APD) made the announcement.

When he pled guilty in this case, Matthews admitted to possessing 306 grams of cocaine and 95 grams of heroin at his apartment in Albany, which he intended to distribute, as well as $11,966, which represented the proceeds of his drug trafficking.  Matthews, a previously convicted felon, further admitted to possessing a loaded, privately manufactured .357 caliber semi-automatic pistol (aka a “ghost gun”) to guard against the potential theft of his drugs and proceeds.  Matthews was initially arrested by APD officers after he was observed firing the pistol into a telephone pole outside his residence. 

Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe also ordered that Matthews forfeit the $11,966 seized from his apartment, and that he serve a 3-year term of supervised release following his release from prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI and its Capital District Safe Streets Gang Task Force, which includes FBI Special Agents and members of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including APD.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Emmet O’Hanlon prosecuted this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated March 1, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses