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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rochester Man Sentenced On Drug Charges

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Keith Lewis, 37, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute and to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. The defendant was also ordered to forfeit $2,051 in proceeds from his drug trafficking activities.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who handled the case, stated that Lewis was involved in the trafficking of cocaine in the Rochester area from at least May of 2011 to May of 2013, with the assistance of others, including Mahogany Lewis. The defendant purchased and transported cocaine from suppliers in Rochester and Buffalo, NY, and processed cocaine into cocaine base. Lewis was also responsible for the direct distribution of cocaine base to others in Rochester.

On May 14, 2013, officers conducted a traffic stop of a minivan being driven by co-consprirator Mahogany Lewis. Keith Lewis was the front seat passenger. Their two children were also in the van. After all were removed from the van, Mahogany Lewis asked if she could take a grocery bag that contained the children’s snacks with her.  Upon inspection of the bag, officers observed a quantity of cocaine. The bag was placed back in the minivan which was taken to the Public Safety Building to be searched after a search warrant was secured. The Lewis’ were taken there as well to be interviewed.

During the execution of a search warrant, officers collected a knotted plastic grocery bag, an electronic room key for a room at the Extended Stay America Hotel, where the couple had been staying, and a cellular telephone. The plastic grocery bag contained approximately 143 grams of crack cocaine, 10 grams of heroin, two plastic bags containing rubber-banded packets of 20 green baggies of heroin, one plastic bag containing 11 bundles of glassine baggies of heroin, two shredder/grinders, empty zip-lock and glassine baggies and a digital scale. Keith Lewis had $2,051 on his person. Three cellular were located and seized as well from the couple. As part of the investigation, a confidential source advised officers that the source regularly purchased crack cocaine from Keith and Mahogany Lewis over the previous 24 months from the Lewis’ residence at 610 Lake Avenue and from a drug house at 208 Conkey Avenue, Rochester. Keith Lewis has two prior felony drug convictions and is on lifetime probation.

Mahogany Lewis was convicted and sentenced to time served and two years supervised release.

The conviction is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, and officers from the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team, composed of law enforcement personnel in Monroe County, under the direction of Rochester Police Department Chief Michael Ciminelli.

Updated December 4, 2014