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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced To More Than 8 Years In Prison

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Barry Whitaker, 41, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, was sentenced to serve 106 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who handled the case, stated that Whitaker was arrested following a police investigation by the Elmira Police Department which took officers to the area of West Third Street for a call of drug-related activity.  Upon their arrival, the officers stopped a car that defendant was driving on Park Place in an area north of West Clinton Street. Smelling marijuana, officers ordered Whitaker and the other occupants out of the vehicle. Officers found a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol in the defendant’s waistband and marijuana in his coat pocket. Subsequently, officers also found Whitaker to have 75 small packages containing heroin, a bag of cocaine, and approximately $1,201.00 in United States currency.  In a backpack in the trunk of the vehicle, the officers found a plastic bag containing approximately 21 grams of heroin, as well as more heroin packaged for distribution. They also found drug packaging material and items commonly seen in drug trafficking.

The matter was brought by the United States Attorney’s Office as part of its Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative.  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Elmira Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Kane, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated April 11, 2019