ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Blake Rivera, 31, of Greece, NY, his brother Chayanne Rivera, 25, of Gates, NY, and their father, Victor Rivera, 51, of Rochester, NY, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and 100 grams of heroin, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. The charges carry a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $10,000,000 fine.
“As all in our community know, the most deadly substances killing our residents consist of heroin and firearms,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Thanks to exceptional police work, not only have massive quantities of these ‘assassins’ been removed, but even larger amounts of equally dangerous crack and powder cocaine. Any person in any way involved in trafficking these toxins should expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt stated, “An eight-month investigation into an illicit family drug business resulted in 14 firearms and 9 kilograms of cocaine seized and taken off our streets; as well as the arrest of three drug traffickers. Through collaborated efforts, law enforcement identified and arrested a major cocaine source of supply contaminating the Greater Rochester New York area.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Everardo A. Rodriguez, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Rochester Police have been investigating the drug trafficking activities of the three defendants for nine months. During the investigation, officers conducted multiple controlled purchases from the defendants.
On December 4, 2015, officers from the New York State Police intercepted a suspicious FedEx package addressed to a fictitious name at 164 Curtis St. The package contained approximately 612 grams of heroin. Subsequently, on February 17, 2016, four search warrants were executed at the residences of the defendants and a storage location used by the defendants.
At Blake Rivera’s residence at 276 Woodsmoke Lane, officers found an assault style rifle loaded with a magazine that contained 30 rounds of ammunition and cash totaling $346, 460.
During a search of 164 Curtis Street where Victor Rivera lived and where Blake and Chayanne stored and distributed drugs, officers recovered approximately 1.5 kilograms of cocaine and 533 grams of crack cocaine. In addition officers seized a .357 magnum revolver, a 9mm handgun, and AK 47 rifle, two 12 gauge shotguns, ammunition and $3,924 in cash.
At the residence of Chayanne Rivera at 245 Colwick Road, officers seized an AK 47 style firearm among other evidence.
Inside the storage unit on Brighton Henrietta Town line Road in Rochester, officers found a 1998 BMW sedan with 6.8 kilograms of cocaine in the trunk and seven firearms: one SKS style firearm loaded; two handguns; two AK-47 style firearms; one shotgun; and one AR-15 style firearm as well as several loaded magazines and loose ammunition.
In total, officers seized:
- Approximately 8.3 kilograms of cocaine,
- Approximately half a kilogram of crack cocaine,
- 14 firearms, most of them loaded, and
- Approximately $375,456 in cash.
Blake Rivera made an initial appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson. Victor and Chayanne Rivera will appear this afternoon. All will be held pending detention hearings later this week.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, with assistance from several law enforcement agencies including the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Craig Hanesworth; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division, the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Phelan, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Patrick O’Flynn, and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Sandra Doorley.
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.