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Rochester man pleads guilty to armed cocaine trafficking


ROCHESTER -- Michael Oliver, 26, of Rochester, 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.

Prosecutors say that on Sept. 18, 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.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 11.