ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Mario Velasquez, 36, pleaded guilty before U-S District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activities. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of life, a fine of $1,000,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that in June 2015, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRANET) and the Rochester Police Department conducted an investigation into Mario Velasquez and the sale of heroin from his residence and a nearby residence on Electric Avenue in Rochester. After making a series of undercover purchases of heroin from Velasquez, a search warrant was executed at both locations. Officers recovered over 350 individual bags of heroin packaged for street level sales, a loaded handgun, assorted live ammunition and approximately $2,400 in cash. Velasquez was arrested at his residence.
The plea 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, and the Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRANET).
Sentencing is scheduled for May 26, 2016 before Judge Siragusa.