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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Three Men Indicted On Conspiracy To Distribute Ecstasy And Molly

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a grand jury has returned a 14 count indictment charging Richard Clarke, 47, a Canadian citizen residing in Buffalo, Barrett Johnson, 32, of Jamestown, NY, and Joshua Castro, 31, of Buffalo, NY, with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000. In addition, Castro is charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances which is also punishable by 20 years in prison.   

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and a previously filed complaint again defendants Clarke and Johnson, the investigation began in February of 2015. Clarke was identified through surveillance as the supplier of MDA and MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, to Johnson over a 10-month period. On January 28, 2016, law enforcement officers established surveillance at Clarke’s Nottingham Terrace residence in Buffalo and Johnson’s business, Iconz Barbershop on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. Officers trailed Clarke and Johnson to Elmwood Avenue where they observed Johnson approaching Clarke’s vehicle and the two exchanged what appeared to be a blue colored bottle.

Subsequently, officers executed a search warrant at Iconz Barbershop where Johnson was arrested. At the time of the arrest, the defendant threw all of the items in his hands to the ground including a blue Pepsi cup which contained a substance similar to molly.  

During the execution of a search warrant at Clarke’s Nottingham Terrance residence, officers seized specific amounts of powder molly and ecstasy pills as well as approximately $13,000 in cash.    

The defendants were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder and were release on conditions.     

The indictment is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce which includes the Ontario Provincial Police, Niagara Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and Toronto Police Services.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated June 28, 2016