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Press Release

New York-Based Marijuana Trafficker Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 20 Years In Prison On Racketeering And Narcotics Conspiracy Charges

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

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that OSCAR RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Chan,” 37, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court on racketeering conspiracy and marijuana trafficking charges. OSCAR RODRIGUEZ was convicted after a trial in April 2014. The Honorable Donald E. Walter, visiting judge from the Western District of Louisiana, imposed a sentence of 20 years in prison.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Oscar Rodriguez has now been sentenced for crimes he committed as a key member of a murderous narcotics-trafficking gang. The neighborhoods in Washington Heights that Rodriguez and his gang terrorized for over a decade are safer as a result of his arrest, conviction, and sentencing, as well as the conviction of over 50 other Rodriguez Enterprise members and associates in related cases brought by our Office. I commend the outstanding work of federal and local law enforcement in making this community safer.”

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,” 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 Rodriguez Enterprise was led by Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, OSCAR RODRIGUEZ’s cousin. OSCAR RODRIGUEZ’s role in the organization included trafficking truckloads of marijuana, managing a lucrative block in Washington Heights, Manhattan, perpetrating violent assaults – including the 2005 near-fatal assault of a young man who sold marijuana for him – and participating in a plot to locate and move the body of another young man who had been strangled to death and buried in a park in the Bronx years earlier. The assault victim and the murder victim both were targeted for violent retaliation for stealing marijuana from the Rodriguez Enterprise. In 2005, OSCAR RODRIGUEZ also threatened the family of the employee he assaulted, in a successful effort to cause the employee to stop cooperating with state authorities. OSCAR RODRIGUEZ participated in these acts on behalf of the Rodriguez Enterprise from at least 1998 through his arrest on October 14, 2010.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Walter also sentenced RODRIGUEZ to five years of supervised release.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the New York City Police Department. 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.

The prosecution of the cases arising from “Operation Green Venom” is being overseen by the Office’s Violent and Organized 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.

Updated May 15, 2015

Press Release Number: 14-321