News Release
October 11, 2007
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Operation Grassroots Nets 16 Arrests
Major Marijuana Trafficking Organization Dismantled

OCT 11 -- John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Attorney Terry Flynn, Western District of New York announced the arrests of sixteen individuals responsible for the distribution of high grade marijuana throughout the counties of Wayne, Monroe, and Ontario, in addition to supplying co-conspirators out of New York in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bloomington, Indiana, Asheville on October 10, 2007.

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “These arrests demonstrate the DEA’s commitment to work with our state and local law enforcement counterparts to identify and ultimately arrest those responsible for drug distribution in our New York communities. Narcotics and weapons were taken off our streets throughout this investigation in order to make our neighborhoods safe and drug free.”

This Operation named “Operation Grass Roots” was initiated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Wayne County Narcotics Enforcement Team, New York State Police, Rochester Office, US Attorney’s Office-Rochester, and the Internal Revenue Service. Operation Grass Roots focused on identifying high grade marihuana sources of supply which was suspected to have been coming from the northern New York border near Massena. The organization was led by Jamahl Leonard and was responsible for distributing approximately $1,000,000 dollars worth of marihuana on a monthly basis, in addition to laundering their proceeds into real estate. The investigation resulted in the following arrests on Federal charges of Possession with the Intent to Distribute, 100 or more Kilograms of Marijuana, in addition to conspiring to do the same. As well as the seizures of $566,000, 190 pounds of marihuana, 6 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms, 6 vehicles, 20 long guns, 5 assault rifles, 1 handgun and 2 money counting machines.

1. Jamahl Leonard - 594 Marsh Rd, Pittsford
2. James T. Knox- DOB- 02-09-75 -1101 Bay Road, Webster
3. Christopher Licata- DOB- 06-16-78, 84 Gould Street, Rochester
4. Carl Martino- DOB- 01-29-80, 4230 Latting Rd, Shortsville
5. Jason A. Montroy- DOB- 01-06-77, 60 Little River Road, Canton
6. Steven R. Politowski- DOB- 10-19-80, 1622 New London Rd, Landenburg, PA
7. Daniel Woodward- DOB- 06-21-76, 15 Wedgewood Dr., Penfield
8. Jeffrey Rayburn- DOB- 12-04-84, Ogdensburg
9. Terry A. Buda- DOB- 05-05-76, 3127 Shepherd Rd, Williamson
10. Nathan Canary- DOB- 06-15-84, 580 Dittemore Rd., Bloomington, Indiana
11. Tara Cunningham- DOB- 08-18-81, 1503 Green St, Apt. 3, Philadelphia, PA
12. Levar Faniel- DOB- 03/01/77, 5834 Ridge Chapel Rd., Williamson
13. Matthew Fox- 1200 Paddy Lane, Ontario
14. Michael Burton- DOB 03-30-75, 34 Gaylord Street, Sodus
15. Blake J. Francis- DOB- 07-17-86, Hogansburg, NY
16. Charles E. Harris, 5790 Rossier Road, Canandaigua, charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree (2cts), Unlawful Growing Cannabis w/out a License. (Remanded to the Ontario County Jail on $25,000 cash bail), Charged by New York State.