Drug Distribution Organization Dismantled Near Canadian Border
JAN 14 -- Plattsburgh, NY – John P. Gilbride, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”), Plattsburgh, New York—United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Lev J. Kubiak, Special Agent in Charge in Buffalo of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigation, announce the unsealing of a superseding federal indictment charging 13 defendants with drug and money laundering offenses.
The indictment is the third one resulting from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The indictments constitute allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The superseding indictment, filed December 30, 2009, charges STEVEN MAIGAR, STEVEN MANNEY, COLLEEN MANNEY, JOSHUA LASHWAY, TYLER BRASARD, MATTHEW FERRARO, RONALD FERRARO, MICHELLE BOLDUC, and CHELSEA ROCK with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846 (Count 1). STEVEN MAIGAR, STEVEN MANNEY, COLLEEN MANNEY, MELISSA KUSALONIS, AMANDA PROVOST, and STEVEN STEELE are charged with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a) (2) (Count 4). Eight defendants also are charged with possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841: Count 2 charges MATTHEW FERRARO, RONALD FERRARO, and COLLEEN MANNEY with possessing with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, Count 3 charges JOSHUA LASHWAY, TYLER BRASSARD, and CHELSEA ROCK with possessing with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, and Count 4 charges MICHELLE BOLDUC and STEVEN MAIGAR with possessing with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana. Count charges JOSHUA LASHWAY with assault on a federal officer, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 111. Count 7 charges TANICE MANNEY with making a false official statement, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. The superseding indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation.
RONALD FERRARO, 26, and MATTHEW FERRARO, 23, of Valley Stream, New York, were arrested in Farmington, New York on June 30, 2009, and were released on $50,000 bail. JOSHUA LASHWAY, 22, of Plattsburgh, New York, and TYLER BRASSARD, 19, of Ellenburg, New York, were arrested on November 25, 2009; LASHWAY was released on $40,000 bail, and BRASSARD was released on $20,000 bail. CHELSEA ROCK, 21, of Plattsburgh, New York, was arrested on December 3, 2009 and released on $10,000 bail. COLLEEN MANNEY, 33, of Champlain, New York, was apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on January 8, 2009 and removed to the United States on January 11, 2009. MANNEY was ordered detained pending a detention hearing. MICHELLE BOLDUC, of Quebec, Canada, was arrested on January 7, 2010. BOLDUC was ordered detained pending a detention hearing. The execution of warrants today resulted in the arrests of STEVEN MANNEY, 29, of Plattsburgh, New York, AMANDA PROVOST, 21, of Plattsburgh, New York, MELISSA KUSALONIS, 28, of Cadyville, New York, STEVEN STEELE, 26, of Plattsburgh, New York, and TANICE MANNEY, 59, of Champlain, New York.
The charges in the superseding indictment carry the following potential penalties:
Charge Potential Penalties Count 1 conspiracy to distribute imprisonment for from 5 to 40 years, a fine of up to $2 million and supervised release for from 4 years to life Count 2 possess with intent to distribute imprisonment for up to 20 years, 100 kilograms of marijuana a fine of $1 million, and supervised release for from 3 years to life Count 3 possess with intent to distribute imprisonment for up to 20 years, 100 kilograms of marijuana a fine of $1 million, and supervised release for from 3 years to life Count 4 possess with intent to distribute imprisonment for up to 20 years, 100 kilograms of marijuana a fine of $1 million, and supervised release for from 3 years to life Count 5 money laundering conspiracy imprisonment for up to 20 years, a fine of up to $500,000 and supervised release for up to 3 years Count 6 assault on a federal officer imprisonment for up to 8 years, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years supervised release Count 7 false official statement imprisonment for up to 5 years, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years supervised release
All three indictments are pending before the Hon. Glenn T. Sunday, United States District Judge in Syracuse.
The indictments are the result of a nine month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including the United States Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection Office of Air & Marine; the New York State Police; the Clinton County District Attorney's Office; and the Adirondack Drug Task Force in Clinton County, comprised of DEA, the State Police, the Clinton County Sheriff's Department, and the Plattsburgh Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Gardner.
United States Attorney Hartunian thanked the law enforcement leaders and agencies for their collaborative efforts and diligence, which make cases that, dismantle international drug smuggling and trafficking organizations possible.
DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, "Marijuana is the most abused illegal drug used by American teens. This investigation allowed federal, state and local law enforcement to identify and arrest an international drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing marijuana throughout our communities." SAC Gilbride thanked and congratulated all the participating law enforcement officers for their diligence throughout this investigation.
"This investigation is a fine example of the successful prosecutions that can result from combined effort of federal, state and local agencies in the Northern District", commented ICE Special Agent in Charge Lev Kubiak "ICE continues to focus, with our law enforcement partners, on significant criminal organizations that are exploiting the US/Canadian border".
Inquiries may be directed to Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant C. Jaquith, the Chief of the Criminal Division for the Northern District of New York, or William C. Pericak, a Deputy Criminal Chief, at (518) 431-0247.