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Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jury Finds Arizona Man Guilty of Drug Trafficking Charges


     ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal jury has convicted Raul Eduardo Rivera de la Torre, 25, of Tucson, Arizona, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, marijuana. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, a fine of $2,000,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Moynihan, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the conspiracy began operations in March of 2007 and continued through April of 2010. During that time, members of the conspiracy shipped hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Tucson, Arizona, to Cleveland, Ohio, Port Chester, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Rochester, N.Y. The organization acquired marijuana from a supplier who was from Mexico. The Government’s proof showed that de la Torre, who is from Mexico and went to high school in the United States, was responsible for translating between the suppliers, who spoke Spanish, and the members of the conspiracy purchasing the marijuana and shipping it to the Northeast, including Rochester, who spoke English.   

At trial, a Government witness, who was involved in the conspiracy, detailed that he would purchase marijuana from the Mexican supplier and would be assisted by the translations of the defendant. The witness testified that he would utilize various companies to ship marijuana packaged in boxes to various locations in Rochester. He then detailed that he later utilized over-land trucking companies to deliver crates full of marijuana to various locations in the Northeastern United States.

Another Government witness detailed how he was responsible for receiving the shipments of marijuana in Rochester and that he would distribute the marijuana once it arrived.

The conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration under the direction of James J. Hunt, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 3, 2014, at 3:00 PM before Judge Frank P. Geraci.



Updated November 24, 2014