News Release
March 6, 2006
Contact: DEA Public Affairs

Rochester, N.Y. Drug Kingpin Extradicted From St. Kitts

photo - Captured Fugitive, Noel Heath

MAR 6 -- Special Agent in Charge of the DEA, New York Field Division John P. Gilbride and Acting United States Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter announced today that one of DEA New York Field Division’s Top Ten Fugitives, Noel Heath, was extradited from the country of St. Kitts to face federal drug charges in Rochester, New York.

The lengthy extradition proceedings, which were processed through the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs, relate to a five count federal indictment handed down in 1995, which principally charges Heath with conspiring to import more than five (5) kilograms of cocaine into the United States, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 952, and conspiracy to possess more than five (5) kilograms of cocaine with the intent to distribute, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and 846. Each of these charges carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a fine of $4,000,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Tyler stated that the Indictment charges that in the months of June and July 1992, the defendant conspired and agreed with others to import and distribute cocaine in the Western District of New York. It is alleged that Heath, a native of St. Kitts, supplied accomplices residing in Rochester, New York with cocaine that was intended to be distributed here. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officials stopped a tractor-trailer being operated by two accomplices on the New York State Thruway. Pursuant to a search of that truck, officials seized approximately 13 kilograms of cocaine concealed within the tractor-trailer. Additionally, a telephone wiretap being utilized at the time recorded several phone calls between a co-conspirator here in Rochester and Noel Heath, who was then living in St. Kitts.

The 1995 Indictment was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of New York Field Division Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Timothy Hickey.

SAC Gilbride stated, “DEA is committed to investigating drug trafficking organizations whose reach extends beyond international boundaries to communities throughout the United States. Along with our Federal, State and Local partners we will continue to investigate and bring to justice those individuals responsible for bringing poison into our communities.” SAC Gibride also praised the joint investigative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Rochester Resident Office, the Rochester Police Department and the Western District of New York United States Attorney’s Office.

The evidence in this case was presented to the Grand Jury by Brad Tyler, Assistant United States Attorney, who will handle the trial of the case.


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