New York-Based Marijuana Trafficker Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court Of Racketeering And Narcotics Conspiracy Charges
Convicted On Charges That Included Underlying Acts Of Murder, Attempted Murder, Marijuana Trafficking, And Witness Tampering
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that OSCAR RODRIGUEZ, 36, was convicted yesterday in Manhattan federal court of racketeering conspiracy and marijuana trafficking charges. As a result of his conviction, RODRIGUEZ faces a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “A jury has convicted Oscar Rodriguez of the crimes he committed as a key member of a murderous, narcotics-trafficking organization. The neighborhoods in Washington Heights that Rodriguez and his organization terrorized for over a decade are safer as a result of his conviction, and the conviction of over 50 other Rodriguez Enterprise members and associates in related cases brought by our Office. These prosecutions exemplify the positive difference that federal and local law enforcement, working together, can make in the everyday lives of the citizens in our communities.”
RODRIGUEZ’s charges arose out of a multi-year investigation titled “Operation Green Venom,” a coordinated multi-agency investigation that was led by ICE HSI and first announced in October 2010. With his conviction, a total of more than 50 defendants have been convicted in United States v. Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, et al., 10 Cr. 905 (LTS), and related cases. Those defendants include former Rock-a-fella music founder Kareem Burke, a/k/a “Biggs,” who received a sentence of five years in prison, and High Times Magazine editor Matthew Woodstock Stang, a/k/a “Magazine Guy.”
According to the Indictment and the evidence at trial, OSCAR RODRIGUEZ was a member of the “Rodriguez Enterprise,” a massive racketeering organization whose members sold large quantities of marijuana, engaged in murders and other violent acts, transported and laundered millions of dollars, obstructed justice and committed perjury, and engaged in firearms offenses. The leader of the Rodriguez Enterprise was Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, OSCR RODRIGUEZ’s cousin. OSCAR RODRIGUEZ worked closely with Rodriguez-Perez for over a decade, trafficking truckloads of marijuana, managing a lucrative block in Washington Heights, Manhattan, perpetrating violent assaults – including the near-fatal assault of his own employee – and participating in a plot to uncover and remove the body of another employee murdered by members of the Rodriguez Enterprise. OSCAR RODRIGUEZ participated in these acts on behalf of the Rodriguez Enterprise from at least 1996 through his arrest on October 14, 2010.
RODRIGUEZ, 36, was convicted of one count of narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of ICE HSI and the NYPD. He also thanked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bergen County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office; the Englewood, New Jersey, Police Department; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the City of New York Department of Investigation; and the New York County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance. Mr. Bharara added that the investigation is continuing.
The prosecution of the cases arising from “Operation Green Venom” is being overseen by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amie N. Ely and Andrew C. Adams are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adams is also responsible for forfeiture proceedings in connection with this case.