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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rochester Brothers Plead Guilty To Armed Cocaine Trafficking

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Shawnta Brown, 40, and Kenya Brown, 41, both of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life, a fine of $10,250,000, or both. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that between 2006 and March 2012, the Brown brothers obtained kilogram quantities of cocaine, manufactured crack cocaine from cocaine, then broke down and packaged smaller quantities for resale. The defendants also distributed cocaine and crack cocaine directly to others, operated drug houses where they directed and supervised lower-level members of the conspiracy who sold the illegal narcotics.

The Brown brothers were arrested March 9, 2012 when officers raided 2294 Clifford Avenue, 138 Strong Street, 29 Aberdeen Street and other locations in Rochester utilized by the defendants in their drug trafficking operation. At these locations, officers seized more than five kilograms of cocaine, a quantity of crack cocaine, firearms with ammunition, paraphernalia for the packaging, processing and weighing of narcotics, and receipts for gold and silver bars. A few days later, officers raided a residence in the Town of Red Creek in  Cayuga County, seizing more firearms, dozens of rounds of ammunition, $303,355 in U.S. currency, and over $23,000 in gold and silver bars and coins. The investigation continued, and resulted in the arrest of Eric Contreras, 29, the California kilogram supplier on May 15, 2012 in Whittier, California. Contreras was convicted and sentenced to 188 months in prison.  

Today’s convictions are the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli and Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, with assistance provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, and the United States Marshal Service under the direction of United States Marshal Charles Salina.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm before Judge Wolford.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated June 20, 2016