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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 19, 2016

Rochester Man Sentenced For Cocaine Trafficking

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Shawnta Brown, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted 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, was sentenced to 152 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The defendant was also ordered to forfeit any interest in $303,355.00 in drug trafficking proceeds, and 12 shotguns, 8 rifles, and 472 rounds of ammunition.

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

The 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 brothers 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 and seized more firearms, dozens of rounds of ammunition, $303,355.00 in U.S. currency, and over $23,000 in gold and silver bars and coins.

Also arrested during the investigation was Eric Contreras, the California kilogram supplier. Contreras was convicted and sentenced to 188 months in prison. Kenya Brown   was also convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced December 28, 2016.

Today’s sentencing is 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. Additional assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict and the United States Marshal Service, under the direction of United States Marshal Charles Salina.

Updated December 20, 2016