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Justice News

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

Two Elmira Opioid Dealers Sentenced For Their Roles In A Drug Trafficking Ring

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Edward Barrett, 27, of Elmira, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue, was sentenced to serve 90 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. In addition, Judge Geraci sentenced Dusty Pemberton, 24, also of Elmira, to serve 70 months in prison for his convicted on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 10 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Harvey, who handled the case, stated that both defendants were part of a large-scale opioid manufacturing and trafficking organization that operated in the Southern Tier of New York between 2015 and May 2017. As members of the organization, Barrett and Pemberton were street-level dealers of blue pills containing furanyl fentanyl in the Elmira area. The blue pills were manufactured by the leaders of the organization – Robert Ian Thatcher and Maximillian Sams – and made to look like legitimate 30 milligram Percocet pills.

Barrett and Pemberton each admitted to selling pills to various customers, including both a 21 year-old female and a 25 year-old male, respectively, who ultimately died of drug overdoses.

To date, 16 members and associates of the opioid manufacturing and trafficking operation have been convicted of federal narcotics offenses. Three defendants have been sentenced; Thatcher was sentenced to serve 23 years in federal prison; Thatcher’s girlfriend, Amber Bates, who was convicted of money laundering conspiracy, was sentenced to five years probation to include six months of home detention; and Isaiah McLaurin, who was convicted of witness tampering after threatening an individual working with the Drug Enforcement Administration on Facebook, was sentenced to serve 57 months in federal prison.

As U.S. Attorney Kennedy has previously stated, “That the members of this organization sought to profit by pushing poison on addicts, is reprehensible. In my view, however, what is even more insidious about their behavior was their effort to press this poison into counterfeit pills, thereby given their customers a false sense of security that there was some quality and dosage control associated with their manufacture.”
Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rochester Resident Office and Scranton PA Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the New York State Police, Community Narcotics Enforcement Team Southern Tier, under the direction of Major Mary Clark and Lieutenant Kevin P. Sucher; the Elmira Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Kane; Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; the Pennsylvania State Police, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick; the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Christopher J. Moss; the Iredell, NC County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Darren E. Campbell; and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Unit, under the direction of Director Brian Manaher. Additional assistance was provided by the Northeast Regional Laboratory. 

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Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Updated February 11, 2019