DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 10, 2017
James P. Kennedy, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Rochester Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Cocaine Trafficking

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Michael Oliver, 26, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. 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 Charles E. Moynihan, who is handling the case, stated that on September 18, 2016, a Rochester Police Department officer was on patrol in the Joseph Avenue area in Rochester. The officer saw a 2014 Ford Focus almost strike someone on a bicycle when it was turning right onto William Warfield Drive. A records check revealed that the vehicle had been reported stolen.
A short while later, the officer approached the parked car which was still running. Oliver was in the driver’s seat. As he approached the driver’s side door, the officer could smell burnt marijuana. He asked Oliver about the smell and the defendant motioned to a burnt marijuana cigarette located in the center console. The officer then instructed Oliver to get out of the car, which he did. Once out of the car, the officer placed the defendant in handcuffs and then lifted Oliver’s shirt and found a loaded handgun hanging out of his right pants pocket. A search of Oliver’s car recovered 13 individual glassine bags of cocaine.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 11, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Siragusa.
New York Field Division