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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Guyanese Native Indicted On Cocaine Charges

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today a federal grand jury has returned a two count indictment charging Khamraj Lall, of New Jersey, with possession with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine and importation of five kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States. The charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine.   
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, between December 2013 and February 10, 2015, the defendant conspired to possess and import from Guyana into the United States, five kilograms or more of cocaine. Lall is a pilot and is accused of transporting the cocaine on his flights from Guyana to the United States.

Lall was arrested on July 22, 2015 in New Jersey. He made an initial appearance in federal court in the District of New Jersey and is being detained. The defendant will be returned to the Western District of New York at a later date.

Lall’s arrest is connected to the arrest of nine other defendants in February 2015. Edward Mighty, Seymour Brown, Andre Taylor, Ricardo Bailey, Robert Wilson, Kenneth Harper, Desmond Bice, and Christopher, all of Rochester, NY, were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of cocaine base, use of a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking distribute marijuana. Defendants Mighty, Brown, Taylor, Wilson, Harper, Bice, and Samuels were also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. In addition, Winifredo Gonzales, of Brooklyn, NY, was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to the complaint, Edward Mighty is one of the leaders of a Rochester-based drug trafficking organization and would obtain kilogram quantities of cocaine from Winifredo Gonzales. The cocaine was transported to Rochester and processed, re-packaged, and distributed in various quantities of both powder and crack cocaine through multiple sellers in the Rochester area.
On February 10, 2015, officers executed a search warrant and arrested Winifredo Gonzales at a residence in Brooklyn. Officers recovered 17 kilograms of cocaine and two handguns, including an UZI 9mm pistol. Officers also seized approximately $70,000 in U.S. currency.
Lall’s indictment 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, 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. 

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 July 24, 2015