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Press Release

Eight Defendants Arrested In Major Narcotics Conspiracy

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

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that eight defendants were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one kilogram or more of heroin. The charge carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.

Named in the complaint are:

• Edwin Deleon, 27; 
• Eugenio Torres, 44;
• Clarita Mendez, 31;
• Sergio Smith, 30;
• Manuel Lewis, 29;
• Bryan Deleon, 23;
• Juan Ortega-Baez, 18; and
• Angel Fernando, 28, all of Rochester, NY.

Defendants Edwin Deleon, Eugenio Torres, Clarita Mendez, are also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassie Kocher, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendants were responsible for trafficking heroin and cocaine in and around the City of Rochester. The arrests are the result of a lengthy investigation that involved various sensitive investigative techniques.

During the execution of search warrants this morning, investigators recovered multiple firearms, quantities of suspected fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, as well as more than $20,000 in cash.

The defendants made initial appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and are being detained. 

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict, New York Field Division; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Simmons; U.S. Border Patrol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division.

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.  

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Updated December 12, 2018

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