March 17, 2015
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
13 Indicted In Wellsville Meth Roundup
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned three separate indictments charging 13 defendants with conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute and to distribute, methamphetamine. The charge carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.
Charged in the indictments are:
- Michael E. Hasert, 60, of Scio, NY;
- Lionel C. Carter, 58, of Wellsville, NY;
- Todd E. Varney, 31, of Wellsville, NY;
- Bradley J. Hollenbeck, 34, of Andover, NY;
- Patrick J. Danielewicz, 34, of Friendship, NY;
- Sarah J. Greene, 37, of Wellsville, NY;
- Elizabeth J. Schreiber, 35, of Scio, NY;
- Michael C. Mullen, 34, of Hornell, NY;
- Timothy J. Billings, 30, of Wellsville, NY;
- Justin L. Billings, 32, of Wellsville, NY;
- Jordan R. Doane, 26, of Friendship, NY;
- Zackery D. Billings, 25, of Springwater, NY;
- Derek Fagan, 30, of Wellsville, NY
In addition, defendant Michael Hasert is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, maintaining a drug involved premises, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a felon in possession of firearms. The charges carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory five years to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed.
Defendants Timothy and Justin Billings are also facing charges of maintaining a drug involved premises and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. These charges also carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory five years to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “Methamphetamine is an illicit drug that has threatened our community at all levels of distribution. Not only is it highly addictive, but simply put- the ingredients are toxic, the manufacturing process is toxic and the end product is toxic. Law enforcement will continue to identify, investigate and dismantle methamphetamine traffickers and manufacturers.”
“Over the last several years, we have seen an increase in the number of cases involving this highly toxic and dangerous substance,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “The public needs to be educated that ingestion of crystal meth causes profound and almost immediate physical, mental and emotional consequences, while the production process can also be deadly.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, who is handling the case, stated that between January 2011 and late 2014, the defendants conspired to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. The defendants engaged in the practice of “smurfing” (buying small quantities) at local pharmacies to get around restrictions on purchasing products containing pseudo ephedrine. This is the most important chemical necessary in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine.
The indictments are the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Division, the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement (CNET), under the direction of Lieutenant Kevin Reyes and Major David Krause, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Division, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb, the Wellsville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy O’Grady, U.S. Border Patrol, under the direction of Patrol Agent in Charge Steven Oldman, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, under the direction of Captain Frank Lauricella.
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.