DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of New York

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 25, 2024
Trini E. Ross
, United States Attorney

Jamestown Drug Ring Leader Pleads Guilty as Federal Trial Was Set to Begin

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Rocco A. Beardsley, 38, of Jamestown, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to narcotic conspiracy and distribution of fentanyl causing death, which carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum of life. Beardsley pleaded guilty as jury selection was scheduled to begin in his federal trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua A. Violanti, Evan K. Glaberson, and Jeffrey E. Intravatola, who are handling the case, stated that between late 2018 and March 2020, Beardsley conspired with seven others sell methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other controlled substances in the Jamestown area. On April 9, 2019, Beardsley sold acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl, which resulted in the death of an individual identified as J.A. After learning of J.A.’s death, Beardsley took steps to conceal his involvement in the drug overdose, including by directing others to destroy evidence from the death scene.

Beardsley bought and sold fentanyl, and methamphetamine for profit and for his own use, utilizing social media to conduct his drug trafficking activities. Beardsley also utilized residences on Sampson Street and Cowden Place in Jamestown for his drug trafficking activities. During the investigation, law enforcement conducted five controlled purchases from Beardsley. In addition, Beardsley and his co-conspirators also participated in a series of money transfers in furtherance of the narcotics conspiracy.

During the investigation, search warrants were executed at residences associated with the drug conspiracy, during which law enforcement seized approximately 100 grams of methamphetamine, 66 grams of fentanyl, 28 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of crack cocaine, a 12-gauge shotgun, and drug paraphernalia.

Beardsley was previously convicted in Federal Court in 2007 of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and sentenced to serve 57 months in prison. In 2017, he was convicted in New York State Court of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Narcotic Drug Intent To Sell.

A total of seven defendants were charged and convicted in this case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank Tarantino, III, New York Field Division, the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Timothy Jackson, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Bryan DiGirolamo, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Stanley Edwards III, and the Town of Ellicott Police Department, under the direction of Chief William Ohnmeiss Jr.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 23, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Sinatra.

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New York Field Division