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Press Release

Utica Man Pleads Guilty to Large Fentanyl Conspiracy and Money Laundering

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Ivan Jose Rodriguez, age 46, of Utica, New York, pled guilty yesterday to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl, and one count of money laundering, announced United States Attorney Carla Freedman, Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, and Thomas Fattorusso, Executive Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), New York Field Office.

As part of his guilty plea, Rodriguez admitted that from May 2020 through October 2021, he, together with his co-conspirators, acquired more than three (3) kilograms of fentanyl from a source of supply, which he and others acting on his behalf, redistributed in the Utica, New York area.  Rodriguez also admitted using a straw purchaser to acquire numerous vehicles, including a 2021 BMW M4, with cash payments using money earned from the drug conspiracy.      

Sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2023, before United States District Judge David N. Hurd.  Rodriguez faces a minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $10 million, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.   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 is being investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), the New York State Police, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Utica Police Department, the City of Syracuse Police Department, the City of Rome Police Department, United States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE), the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the New York Army National Guard Counter Drug Program, the Village of Yorkville Police Department, and the Village of Whitesboro Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Thomson.

Updated December 8, 2022

Drug Trafficking