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Justice News

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

Friday, March 4, 2016

Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 15 Years Prison

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kenneth Harper, a/k/a Frenchy, a/k/a Pudge, 34, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, was sentenced to 15 years prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that Harper was identified during a long term wiretap investigation targeting a Rochester-based drug-trafficking organization which obtained kilogram quantities cocaine from Brooklyn, NY. The cocaine was transported to Rochester where it was processed, re-packaged, and distributed in various quantities of both powder and crack cocaine through multiple distributors in the Greater Rochester area, including Harper. 

Harper was arrested February 9, 2015 at 418 Lyell Avenue with Robert Wilson, a/k/a Bose, during the execution of a search warrant at that location. Officers also executed a search warrant at 295 Smith Street, another location used by Harper to traffic cocaine. Between the two locations, officers seized 29 bags of crack cocaine packaged for street sale, marijuana, a stolen Smith & Wesson, .357 caliber handgun loaded with five rounds of live ammunition, over $3,000 in U.S. currency, multiple cell phones, and paraphernalia for the packaging, processing, and distribution of cocaine such as beakers, digital scales, plate, strainer, sandwich bags, and baking soda.

On February 9 and 10, 2015, officers executed numerous additional search warrants in Rochester and in Brooklyn, and arrested Edward Mighty, Seymour Brown, Andre Taylor, a/k/a Stamma, Ricardo Bailey, a/k/a Diji, Desmond Bice, a/k/a Dez, and Christopher Samuels, a/k/a Cutty, all of Rochester, and Winifredo Gonzales, of Brooklyn.  Desmond Bice is the only defendant who has not been convicted and still has charges pending. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Craig Hanesworth, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, under the direction of Sandra Doorley.  


Updated March 4, 2016