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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jury Convicts Rochester Man Of A Operating Drug Trafficking Organization

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that following a seven-week trial, a federal jury has convicted Colin B. Montague, 63, of Greece, NY, of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, drug conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering. The charges carry a minimum penalty of life in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Marangola and Brett A. Harvey, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the defendant was the head of a national cocaine trafficking organization involving individuals in Rochester, NY; Arizona; California; and Nevada. Through the organization, Montague was responsible for arranging the transportation of several hundred kilograms of cocaine from the western United States to the Rochester area between 2008 and June 2014.  The organization used various methods for transporting the cocaine, including tractor-trailers, drug couriers, and the U.S mail.  After receiving the shipments, the defendant and other members of the organization would distribute the cocaine to other upper-level and mid-level drug traffickers in the Rochester area. 

The organization was uncovered by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Rochester Police Department after a wiretap investigation that culminated in the seizure of a six-kilogram shipment of cocaine from a courier as the drugs were being transported from Pennsylvania to Rochester. After seizure of the drug shipment, Montague fled to Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived under a false identity for six months until he was captured by the  United States Marshals Service.

The defendant also owned and operated Montague Enterprise, Inc., a real estate business in Rochester. During the conspiracy, Montague laundered more than $2,350,000 in drug proceeds through bank accounts associated with the real estate business. Also, the defendant purchased six properties in the Rochester area using drug proceeds. 

A total of 20 other members of the drug trafficking organization were convicted of drug trafficking and/or money laundering offenses.

The trial verdict 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 Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of James D. Robnett, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office; and the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 18, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. before Chief United States District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr., who presided over the trial of the case.

Updated June 6, 2018