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Press Release

Jamaican Ecstasy Trafficker Convicted Following Jury Trial

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 William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Carlos McKenzie, a/k/a Charles Williams, a/k/a General, 36, of Jamaica, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. McKenzie faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a fine of $5,000,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Marangola and Everardo A. Rodriguez, who are handling the case, stated that McKenzie and others obtained ecstasy tablets smuggled from Canada, which were then sold by multiple distributors in Rochester and other locations.

McKenzie was charged in 2009 along with 28 other defendants. The defendant was not arrested until 2013, when he was taken into custody in Phoenix, Arizona under an assumed name. All other defendants have been convicted and sentenced. The investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately $230,000 in U.S. currency from drug proceeds, 290 pounds of marijuana, 3,000 ecstasy tablets, 11 firearms and two automobiles.

The conviction was supported by the Department of Justice Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program. It is the culmination of a federal wiretap investigation led by Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Scott Crosier.  The investigation was part of the then-recently created Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), which is comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement organizations from Canada and the United States. Other assisting agencies the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. hunt, New York Field Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge James S. Higgins, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Randy Howe, the Rochester Police Department, Chief Michael Ciminelli, and the Canadian BEST task force members which include the Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Services, Canada Border Services Agency, Niagara Regional Police Services, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

Updated December 19, 2014