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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Monday, November 17, 2014

Arizona Man Sentenced for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy


ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Raul Eduardo Rivera de la Torre, 25, of Tucson, Arizona, who was found guilty following a jury trial of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, marijuana, was sentenced to 27 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who handled the case, stated that the conspiracy began in about March of 2007 and continued through April of 2010. During that time frame, the members of the conspiracy shipped hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Tucson, Arizona, to Cleveland, Ohio, Port Chester, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Rochester, New York. The organization acquired marijuana from a supplier from Mexico. Evidence presented by the Government at trial showed that de la Torre, who is from Mexico and went to high school in the U.S., was responsible for translating between the suppliers, who spoke Spanish, and the members of the conspiracy purchasing the marijuana and shipping it to the Northeast, who spoke English.   

One Government witness, who was involved in the conspiracy, detailed that he purchased marijuana from the Mexican supplier and was assisted by the translations of the defendant. The witness further testified that he utilized various companies to ship marijuana packaged in boxes to various locations in Rochester. He also detailed that he later utilized over-land trucking companies to deliver crates full of marijuana to various locations in the Northeastern U.S. Another witness for the Government testified that he was responsible for receiving the shipments of marijuana in Rochester and would then distribute the marijuana once it arrived.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, New York Division.
Updated November 20, 2014