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April 01, 2016

14 men indicted in major Philly-Rochester heroin trafficking operation

Officials seize nearly 23,000 decks of heroin and more than $93K in cash

Indictment Drug Trafficking
040116_HeroinbustRochester Source/U.S. Attorney's Office

Omar Latson wanted in connection to heroin trafficking operation between Philadelphia and Rochester, New York.

In a major regional drug bust, fourteen suspects were indicted this week in connection with a heroin trafficking operation between Philadelphia and Rochester, N.Y., U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. announced Thursday.

Over the last several months, an investigation was carried out by the FBI, ATF, DEA, and the Rochester Police Department to root out the source of pre-packaged and pre-stamped heroin shipments contributing to a high volume of drug sales in Rochester, located in Monroe County in upstate New York. 

According to the criminal complaint, investigators obtained wiretap authorizations last December to track down Philadelphia suppliers who coordinated with ten Rochester suspects alleged to have transported both heroin and drug proceeds to New York.

“The seizures of heroin made in connection with this law enforcement operation represent some of the largest in recent memory,” said Hochul. “We in law enforcement don’t want further records, we want to save lives. Deaths from heroin and other opiate-based substances now constitute the leading cause of death in America. But as a result of these seizures, nearly 23,000 potentially deadly doses will not make it onto the streets of our Rochester community.”

In a series of raids in Rochester and Philadelphia, officials seized 22,713 decks of heroin, $93,399 in cash and nine firearms. The ten suspects from Rochester are listed below.

• Damon Montgomery

• Herbert Montgomery

• Paris Montgomery

• Frank Figueroa

• James Washington

• Jonathan Figueroa

• Johnnie Balkman

• Robert Cochran

• Laron Perkins

• DeShawnra Williams

Three suspects from Philadelphia – Jerome "May" Randolph, David Haynes and Edwin Rodriguez – were also indicted.

All of the suspects named in the indictment are charged with possession with intent to distribute, distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy and attempt to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, use of a communication facility in furtherance of a controlled substance felony, money laundering, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Omar Latson, an additional Rochester suspect described as the ringleader of the operation, remains at large.

Each of the suspects named in the indictment faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a fine of $10,000,000 or both.