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Press Release

Rochester Man Convicted By A Federal Jury Of Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Going To Prison For 30 Years

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 James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Juan Sampel, 48, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted following a jury trial of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, was sentenced to serve 360 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean C. Eldridge and Robert A. Marangola, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the evidence presented at trial demonstrated that between 2015 and April 27, 2016, Sampel and co-defendant Jose Gonzalez were part of a cocaine distribution network that distributed kilograms of cocaine in Rochester. During the investigation, law enforcement officers obtained court ordered wiretaps on several phone numbers related to that conspiracy. Calls involving Sampel, Gonzalez, and other co-conspirators were recorded. During those calls, the defendants used coded references to refer to their cocaine trafficking. Other intercepted communications revealed discussions about identifying undercover police vehicles and encouraging co-conspirators to utilize encrypted forms of communications over their phones. Investigators also utilized video surveillance to record meetings and the transfer of cocaine and cash between co-conspirators.

On April 27, 2016, several search warrants were executed, including at the residences of the defendants. Law enforcement officers recovered multiple cellular telephones, including Sampel’s phone, drug paraphernalia such as scales and baggies, and over $11,000 in cash from Gonzalez’s residence, and over $17,000 from Sampel’s residence. As part of the overall investigation, investigators seized over 11 kilograms of cocaine.  

Co-defendant Jose Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on June 10, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La'Ron D. Singletary.

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Updated May 24, 2019

Drug Trafficking