BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Brandon Blackshear, 37, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that on January 2, 2019, members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force made a controlled purchase of crack cocaine from the defendant and co-defendant Tracy Griffin. Then, on January 22, 2019, members of the task force made a controlled purchase of crack cocaine and heroin from the defendant Blackshear and Griffin.
Tracy Griffin was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, under the direction of Jason Thompson, Associate Director of the Office of Justice Services; the Southern Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb; and the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 29, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.