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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Trini E. Ross, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Ohio Man Charged in Jamestown Drug Conspiracy

BUFFALO, NY — U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Justin Whitfield, 24, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was charged by criminal complaint with narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, since April 2019, the Drug Enforcement Agency has investigated the drug trafficking activities, including heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine, of Rocco Beardsley in the Jamestown, NY area. During the investigation, Whitfield was identified as an associate and co-conspirator of Beardsley. The complaint states that Beardsley was utilizing a source of supply for methamphetamine in the Cincinnati area, and Whitfield was responsible for introducing Beardsley to the source. Whitfield utilized social media to conduct drug related conversations and facilitate his drug trafficking activities.

Whitfield made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and was detained. Co-defendant Rocco Beardsley is scheduled for trial on March 25, 2024.

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

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department and the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, under the direction of Jamestown Police Chief Timothy Jackson; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito, New York Field Division; and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff James Quattrone.

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.


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