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Press Release

Two Defendants Admit Guilt In Major Cocaine Trafficking Ring In Rochester

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 William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Darren Smith, 45, and Jose Quintana, 28, both of Rochester, N.Y., each pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. Smith’s conspiracy charge carries a minimum penalty of 20 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $20,000,000 fine; Quintana’s conspiracy charge carries a minimum penalty of 5 years and a maximum penalty of 40 years and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto, who is handling the case, stated that according to the plea agreements, Smith and Quintana participated in an ongoing drug trafficking conspiracy in the City of Rochester from 2015 through April 26, 2016. As part of his plea, Smith admitted that in addition to directly distributing cocaine to others, he stored quantities of cocaine and cash drug proceeds at his residence. During a search warrant executed at Smith’s residence on April 27, 2016, law enforcement recovered more than 100 grams of cocaine base, more than 150 grams of cocaine, $10,178 in cash and a loaded .45 caliber firearm. Smith admitted that he possessed that firearm in connection with his drug trafficking. This will be Smith’s third felony drug conviction.

As part of his plea, Quintana admitted that he directly distributed cocaine to others and that he possessed the 12 gauge shotgun recovered from his residence for protection in connection with his drug dealing activities.  The plea is the result of/culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, the Greater Rochester Area Narcotic Enforcement Team, under the direction of Lt. Dave Gebhardt, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Shelly Binkowski, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge.

Sentencing for Smith is scheduled for 10/13/16 at 11:00AM before Judge Siragusa. Sentencing for Quintana is scheduled for 10/14/16 at 10:15AM before Judge Siragusa.

Updated July 15, 2016