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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Eleven Individuals Charged In A Major Cocaine Trafficking Ring In Rochester

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that 11 individuals were charged in two complaints with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and crack cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and an $8,000,000 fine.
Named in the complaints are:
• Dennis Smith, aka “Fish”
• Darren Smith, aka “Fat Boy”
• Kaleaf Ball, aka “Leaf”
• Reginald Streeter, aka “Street”
• Juan Sampel
• Angel Ocasio
• Jose Quintana
• Luz Morales, aka “Leida”
• Jason Gibson
• Kelly Shanks
• Jose Gonzalez

“This represents yet another important success in our continuing efforts to protect the public from the twin dangers of firearms and large scale narcotics trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.  “As this case demonstrates, law enforcement stands shoulder to shoulder in our commitment to bring to justice, all who engage in such dangerous criminal conduct.” 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaints, from 2015 through April 26, 2016, the defendants operated an ongoing drug trafficking conspiracy in the City of Rochester. Members of this conspiracy were responsible for the importation and distribution of large quantities of cocaine and cocaine base in the Rochester area. During the investigation, law enforcement officers conducted controlled purchases of cocaine, utilized federal wire taps to intercept electronic and wire communications over various cellular telephones utilized by members of the conspiracy, and conducted search warrants on multiple U.S. Priority Mail parcels containing cocaine and cash proceeds from the sale of cocaine.
The lengthy investigation culminated in the arrest of the 11 individuals named in the complaints and the execution of multiple search warrants. During the execution of the search warrants, law enforcement officers seized approximately five kilograms of cocaine and over 100 grams of cocaine base; quantities of heroin and marijuana; more than $200,000 in cash; and several firearms.  Five of the individuals named in the complaint have one or more prior drug felony convictions. 
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, the Greater Rochester Area Narcotic Enforcement Team, under the direction of Lt. Dave Gebhardt, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Shelly Binkowski, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge.   
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.

Updated May 3, 2016