Drug crimes and investigations should be taken extremely seriously given the severity of the penalties upon conviction. As recent arrests underscore, it is critical for anyone facing drug charges to seek advice from a Rochester criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to avoid significant jail time and other substantial penalties. According to a recent article in RochesterFirst.com, a drug investigation in Rochester, New York has resulted in the arrest of two men who have since been charged with “conspiring and attempting to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.”
We want to tell you more about these arrests and to discuss the seriousness of conspiracy and possession charges under New York law.
Details of the Recent Rochester Drug Arrests
According to the article, the drug investigation involved an undercover operation and 8 kilograms of cocaine. Prosecutors reported that a package sent through the U.S. mail from Puerto Rico to Rochester, New York contained 8 kilograms of cocaine, making the package worth anywhere from $500,000 – $800,000. The package was addressed to Brian Cintron, a 37-year-old Rochester resident on Waverly Place. Investigators learned about the package prior to its delivery and, according to the article, “replace the cocaine with ‘sham,’ and an undercover officer dressed as a mail carrier to deliver it.”
When the undercover officer arrived at Cintron’s Waverly Place address, prosecutors say that Cintron accepted the package. Shortly thereafter, Cintron got into a car driven by 35-year-old Junior Gallardo-Ortiz. Prosecutors indicated that “Gallardo-Ortiz had been driving around the area for at least an hour before the package was delivered.” Once the package was delivered and Cintron got into the vehicle driven by Gallardo-Ortiz, the police began to tail the vehicle. According to police on the scene, Gallardo-Ortiz “began speeding, crossing double yellow lines, running red lights, and passing stop signs.” There was a point at which the police tailing the vehicle lost sight of it before identifying it again due to a flat tire. Despite having a flat tire, police reports indicated that Gallardo-Ortiz and Cintron started to speed again and eventually collided with a police car.
Possession and Intent to Distribute Charges
The article reports that the police have surveillance footage that appears to show “Cintron attempting to throw the package into a dumpster, leaving it behind the dumpster when it wouldn’t fit.” Police arrested Cintron and Gallardo-Ortiz, and both men have been charged with “conspiring and attempting to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.” The article reports that a conviction would result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with the possibility of a life sentence. In addition, the two men face up to a $10 million fine in the event of a conviction.
Under the New York Penal Code, conspiracy charges require the prosecutor to prove that an overt act was committed by one of the conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy. Possession with intent to distribute requires the prosecution to prove the presence of a controlled substance and in a particular amount.
Contact Our Rochester Drug Crime Defense Lawyers Today
Do you need help with your defense in Rochester? Facing criminal charges can produce fear and anxiety, but our Rochester criminal defense attorneys are here to assist you. Contact King Law to learn more about how we tailor defense strategies to the needs of each of our clients and the services we provide in upstate New York.