Thursday, August 27, 2020

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty To Drug And Gun Charges

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Freedom Lee, 26, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The charges carry a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassie M. Kocher, who is handling the case, stated that at approximately 2:50 a.m. on April 22, 2019, Rochester Police Department officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle in the area of 1210 North Clinton Avenue in Rochester. The defendant was identified as the passenger in the vehicle. During the stop, police officers recovered from Lee approximately 54 vials of cocaine; approximately 192 yellow glassine bags containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl; approximately 15 white glassine bags containing a mixture of heroin and fentanyl; a plastic bag containing a mixture of heroin and cocaine; five yellow glassine bags containing fentanyl; a 9mm semiautomatic pistol loaded with 18 rounds of ammunition; and $1,632 in United States currency, which represented proceeds from his drug sales.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division.

The case was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of its Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 4, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.

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