Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

October 05, 2018

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

California meth supplier pleads guilty to possession with intent to distribute

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall, New York Division, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that James H. Bess, Jr., 63, of Apple Valley, CA, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer to possession with intent to distribute of five grams or more of methamphetamine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and an $8,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Higgins, who is handling the case, stated that on Oct. 2, 2016, law enforcement officers conducted a controlled purchase with the defendant. During the buy, which took place inside Bess’s vehicle, the defendant sold a quantity of methamphetamine to another individual in exchange for $800 cash. Bess was arrested at that time.

During a search of the defendant’s vehicle, officers recovered three bags of methamphetamine. Officers also searched a room at the Red Roof Inn in the Town of Ellicott, which Bess had previously rented. During that search, officers recovered two additional bags of methamphetamine. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by the DEA’s Buffalo Resident Office.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.


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