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Press Release

Six Indicted In Connection With Massena Cocaine And Heroin Ring

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

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – Six people have been indicted on charges related to cocaine and heroin trafficking in and around the Massena area, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Mark LaBrake, Chief of Police for the Massena Police Department.

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

* Jonathan Rodriguez, a/k/a “Javi” a/k/a “Big Guy” a/k/a “Big Man” a/k/a “Babs” a/k/a “Bebz” a/k/a/ “Bebo,” age 27, of Bronx, New York;
* Ricardo Garcia, aka “Bucky,” age 24, of New York City;
* Tina Fumano, age 42, of Massena, New York;
* Cecilia Lindsey, a/k/a “Cece,” age 28, of Massena, New York;
* Nicole Francis, age  27, of Norwood, New York; and
* William Rochefort, age 21, of Massena, New York.

Rodriguez, Fumano and Garcia each face at least 5 years and up to 40 years of imprisonment, and a maximum $5 million fine, if convicted.  Lindsey, Francis and Rochefort each face up to 20 years of imprisonment and a maximum $1 million fine if convicted.

The defendants, except Garcia, will appear for arraignments in Plattsburgh on December 10, before United States Magistrate Judge Gary L. Favro.  Garcia is in custody in the Southern District of New York and will appear for arraignment at a later date.

“Vigorous law enforcement by federal, state, local, and Canadian agencies is essential to ending the emerging heroin epidemic and combatting the continuing cocaine problem,” stated U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.  “The outstanding collaboration here was critical to bringing this case.  We remain committed to working together to maintain public health and safety in this community.”

“Dismantling drug trafficking organizations is a critical component of our effort to enhance public safety in our communities,” stated HSI Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.
“By disrupting these organizations, we are on the path to addressing the root causes of a myriad of criminal activity associated with drug trafficking.”

“This operation is a success story of how agencies come together to address the illegal drug trade in Northern New York,” stated Massena Police Chief Mark LaBrake.  “This operation, which started with an investigation by the Massena Police Department, was able to dismantle a large pipeline of cocaine and heroin trafficking from New York City to Massena. The hope is that people from out of the area will realize that bringing this poison to our community will not be tolerated.  I again want to thank our local, state and federal partners for their assistance in helping battle this problem of dangerous drugs that plagues our community.”

The indictment is the result of a year-long investigation led by HSI’s Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) in Massena, which consists of law enforcement officers from the Massena Police Department, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police, and which receives assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the District Attorneys of Clinton, Franklin, and St. Lawrence Counties, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department, the Oneida Indian Nation Police, U. S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Potsdam Police Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Surete du Quebec, and the New York Attorney General’s Office.

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

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Kopita and Douglas G. Collyer.

Updated December 10, 2015

Drug Trafficking