News Release
May 29, 2007
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer

Marijuana Trafficker Sentence
Guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 100 kgs of marijuana

MAY 29 -- (ALBANY, NY) John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby announced today the sentencing of a Verona, New York man on drug charges. HEATH CARNEY, 36, was sentenced on May 24, 2007, by Senior United States District Judge Frederick J. Scullin to 37 months in federal prison for his plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana. Following his incarceration, HEATH CARNEY will be placed on supervised release for 4 years.

Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, "Collaboratively across this nation, DEA and our law enforcement partners identified two drug trafficking routes that were bringing marijuana and cocaine into the Syracuse area. Whether it is marijuana from the west or cocaine from the south, law enforcement weeded out those responsible for distributing illegal drugs in our community. The successful arrests of those responsible and this final sentencing prove that we are focused on making our cities safer from the dangers of drug trafficking."

Between November 2001 and late 2002, HEATH CARNEY joined California residents Christopher McKay and David Schulken, and New York residents Jonathan Pederson, John Scalzo, and others in a marijuana conspiracy. In November 2001, HEATH CARNEY traveled to San Diego, California, and met with McKay to discuss marijuana dealing. McKay agreed to sell CARNEY marijuana for $650 to $700 per pound. At this meeting, CARNEY gave McKay $25,000. After CARNEY returned to New York, McKay mailed him 60 pounds of marijuana.

As further part of the conspiracy, CARNEY mailed large amounts of cash to McKay, working with an associate, David Schulken, to pay for large amounts of marijuana. For example, in late 2001 or early 2002, CARNEY mailed $65,000 to McKay, who mailed two large packages of marijuana, totaling approximately 100 pounds, to CARNEY. This arrangement continued for several shipments. CARNEY would re-sell this marijuana he obtained from McKay and Schulken to Central New York area customers.

On several occasions in and around April 2002, CARNEY mailed $135,000 to McKay and Schulken, who sent two hundred pounds of marijuana each time to CARNEY. In late July of that year, CARNEY mailed McKay and Schulken $200,000 for another delivery of marijuana of approximately 300 pounds, although CARNEY only received partial delivery of this purchase because law enforcement authorities had arrested McKay, and others.

CARNEY was arrested on November 26, 2002, when he went to a pre-designated location where he believed he was to receive another 300 pounds of marijuana from McKay. The quantity of marijuana for which HEATH CARNEY was responsible, during the period of time in which he was a member of the conspiracy, was more than 880 but less than 1540 pounds.

CARNEY’s sentencing brings to a conclusion a several years long multi-jurisdiction, multi-agency investigation of a large-scale and expansive marijuana trafficking network which extended from Central New York to California and Mexico. This investigation resulted in the arrest, prosecution and conviction of several defendants in Oneida County, and another five defendants in the federal courts of the Northern District of New York and the Central District of California.

The CARNEY case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Oneida County Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Oneida County District Attorney's Office, the Kirkland Police Department, the Oneida City Police Department, the Utica Police Department, the Auburn Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff's Office, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, and the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carl G. Eurenius, who can be reached at 448-0672.