January 27, 2011
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Two Rochester Brothers Charged In Federal Drug ConspiracyAuthorities Seize Over Half A Million Dollars In Cash
ROCHESTER, NY. - United States Drug Enforcement (DEA) New York Field Division Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride and U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Rochester has returned an indictment charging Joseph Mitchell, 39, of Rochester, New York, and his brother, Jamar Mitchell, 24, with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 280 grams or more of cocaine base. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $4,000,000 or both.
“Cocaine being smuggled into the Rochester area for conversion into Crack led to law enforcement identifying Joseph and Jamar Mitchell, known as the ‘Mitchell Brothers’, as the crack drug distribution organization that was supplying the area,” said Gilbride. “These arrests prove that law enforcement will not tolerate drug trafficking of any kind and that we are constantly looking for those who are distributing illegal poison into our communities.”
"I commend the hard work of our federal and local law enforcement partners," said U.S. Attorney Hochul. "Their efforts have resulted in the arrests of two men accused of trafficking in substantial quantities of illegal narcotics in our district. The seizures by law enforcement of an astounding amount of currency eliminate any profit that may have arisen from these alleged crimes."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto, who is handling the case, stated that the indictment charges the defendants with participating in a drug conspiracy responsible for the large scale distribution of significant quantities of cocaine and cocaine base in the Rochester, New York, and Elmira, New York, areas from 2008 until the present. The nearly two year investigation culminated in the arrests of both defendants, and the execution of several search warrants, during which recovered a loaded handgun and over $500,000 in cash that was hidden in a hidden trap in the base of a fish tank at Joseph Mitchell's residence. This is the largest bulk cash seizure in the Western District of New York in recent years. Officers and agents also located a stolen handgun, a quantity of cocaine base, and a smaller quantity of cash at Jamar Mitchell's residence. In addition, expensive jewelry, several flat screen televisions, and several vehicles were also seized. Agents and officers also located a large trap in one of the vehicles used by Joseph Mitchell. Mitchell was previously stopped in this vehicle in 2008 by highway patrol officers in Missouri. During that traffic stop, officers recovered over $60,000 in cash and a handgun from the trap.
The indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of DEA special agents, officers of the Rochester Police Department, the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.