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Press Release

Syracuse Man Pleads Guilty to Drug, Money Laundering and Firearms Charges

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – John Wright, age 33, of Syracuse, pled guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute marijuana,  as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering of drug proceeds, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of firearms by a convicted felon, and possessing firearms in connection with a drug trafficking crime,  announced Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon, Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Gregory S. Oakes, Oswego County District Attorney.

As part of his guilty plea, Wright admitted that between May 2017 and August 2017, he received bulk quantities of marijuana from a source of supply who imported marijuana via the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation in Northern New York State. Wright sold marijuana he received to customers in Syracuse, and sent the proceeds back to his source of supply. As part of his guilty plea, Wright admitted that he distributed at least 54 kilograms (118 pounds) of marijuana. Wright further admitted that he possessed a handgun and a loaded shotgun in his home to protect his drugs and the proceeds from drug sales. In 2008, Wright was convicted in Onondaga County Court of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, and was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of his commission of his federal crimes. 

Sentencing is scheduled for September 23, 2021,  in Binghamton, New York, at which time Wright faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment for his conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 3 years and up to life. He also faces up to 20 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit money laundering of drug proceeds. Wright faces a mandatory consecutive sentence of five years, and up to life for his conviction for possession of firearms in connection with a drug trafficking crime. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and the Oswego County Drug Task Force, comprised of Special Agents of HSI, members of the City of Oswego Police Department, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, Investigators from the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, the SUNY Oswego Police Department, and Agents of the U.S. Border Patrol.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Sutcliffe.

Updated May 21, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses