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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seven People Indicted In Cocaine Conspiracy Including Five Keeseville Residents, One Plattsburgh Resident

Investigation Yields Seizure of Over 500 Grams of Cocaine

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK –United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, and New York State Police Troop B Headquarters Bureau of Criminal Investigations Captain Robert S. LaFountain announced that a grand jury has indicted seven individuals on drug trafficking charges.

“The plague of addictive drugs like cocaine devastates lives and communities,” stated United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to get these substances off our streets and prosecute distributers to the fullest extent of the law.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “This investigation is the essence of DEA’s mission - to identify and dismantle drug trafficking organizations responsible for threatening our communities with drug abuse and the perils associated. By working with our federal, local and state law enforcement partners, DEA not only dismantled a local cocaine distribution organization based in Plattsburgh, but located and arrested the cocaine source in New York City.”

“These arrests underscore the extraordinary results that are achieved by the dedication and perseverance of the state, local and federal law enforcement officers who worked so diligently on this case,” said New York State Police Captain Robert S. LaFountain. “The New York State Police are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and arrest those involved in the distribution and sale of narcotic drugs."

The indictment charges the following individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine:

• Thomas Farlekas, 31, of Bronx, New York
• Earl Mudd, 48, of Keeseville, New York
• Michael Moran, 43, of Keeseville, New York
• Kelly Nusbaum-Allen, 43, of Plattsburgh, New York
• Clayton Barber, Jr. aka “Junior,” 34, of Keeseville, New York
• Suzanne Gill, 30, of Keeseville, New York
• Joseph Hathaway, 38, of Keeseville, New York

Farlekas and Mudd face at least ten (10) years and up to life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000,000. Moran faces at least five (5) years imprisonment and up to forty (40) years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $5,000,000. The remaining defendants face up to twenty (20) years imprisonment and up to a $1,000,000 fine.

Farlekas, Mudd, and Moran appeared in United States District Court in Plattsburgh, New York on November 30, 2014. Farlekas and Mudd were detained pending trial and Moran was released on pretrial release supervision. Nusbaum-Allen appeared in United States District Court in Plattsburgh, New York on December 18, 2014, and was released on pretrial release supervision. Barber, Jr., Gill, and Hathaway appeared in United States District Court in Plattsburgh, New York on December 23, 2014. Gill was released on pretrial release supervision. Barber, Jr. and Hathaway were detained pending trial. Trial in this matter is currently scheduled for February 17, 2015 before Senior United States District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn in Albany, New York.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations. Local law enforcement agencies involved include the Plattsburgh Police Department, Essex County Sheriff’s Department, and Malone Village Police Department. The United States is represented in this prosecution by Assistant United States Attorney Katherine Kopita.

Updated January 29, 2015