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Ten defendants charged in Jamestown methamphetamine conspiracy

STAFF REPORTS

BUFFALO, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging eight defendants with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine. Named in the indictment are: 

• Danny W. Michael, III;
• Alexis V. Hall;
• Destiny J. Hare;
• Andrew C. Bennett;
• Searcy E. Fields;
• Jacob A. Motherwell;
• Michael A. Davis; and
• Stacie N. Yancer

In addition, Jamell Trapp and Marcus Bowman were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum of 40 years, plus a mandatory consecutive five-year prison term. Jamell Trapp is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Astorga and Emmanuel Ulubiyo, who are handling the case, stated that according to the indictment, the defendants operated and participated in a large scale methamphetamine conspiracy in the Jamestown area between November 2017 and June 14, 2018.
The complaint further states that defendant Jamell Trapp is a member of a multi-state drug trafficking organization (DTO) that is suspected of trafficking and distributing large quantities of methamphetamine. The methamphetamine is believed to originate in Mexico, and is then moved to southern California for shipment to Western New York.

On June 18, 2018, at approximately 2:00 PM, members of the DEA, the FBI and USPIS, conducted a controlled delivery of a parcel to the residence of Jamell Trapp at 18 Wisteria Drive in Fredonia, NY. The original package containing suspected methamphetamine was intercepted by the USPIS on June 15, 2018 and replaced with sham. Marcus Bowman accepted the package upon delivery. A short time later, Bowman and Trapp were taken into custody. Law enforcement officers conducted a search of the residence and recovered a firearm and the package containing sham.

Defendants Hall, Hare, Bennett, Fields, and Motherwell were taken into custody this morning. Search warrants executed at the time of their arrests recovered a quantity of suspected crystal methamphetamine, pills, approximately $3,000 cash, drug paraphernalia, approximately 20 cell phones, and a laptop.

Defendants Yancer, Davis and Michael are currently in state custody.

“While much attention—and rightfully so—is given to the opioid epidemic, methamphetamine remains a formidable and increasing threat in various locations across the United States,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “In 2016, more than 7,500 Americans lost their lives to a methamphetamine overdose. Although the journey may be more prolonged than with opiates, the final destination is the same. Methamphetamines, like opiates, kill. Today’s round-up provides proof that the entire Department of Justice, working together with our state and local partners, will do all that we can to eradicate the deadly and varied threat presented by illicit drugs in every corner of our District.”
“These joint, strategic operations help us in this race to save lives,” said Gary Loeffert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Buffalo Office. “The FBI concentrates on crime problems that pose major threats to American society and we are too familiar with this topic. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, harmful stimulant. The men and women arrested today were pushing this unforgiving drug into the Jamestown community knowing it will inevitably destroy the lives of users and their families and friends.”

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James Hunt stated, “Meth is cheap, addictive, highly toxic; and it is here, in the Southern Tier of New York. This investigation demonstrates that we are determined to eradicate methamphetamine traffickers by shutting down the source of supply. I applaud our law enforcement partners for their diligent work on this investigation.”

USPIS Acting Inspector-in-Charge, Boston Division, Delany De Leon-Colon stated, “Along with our law enforcement counterparts, Postal Inspectors will always pursue those who use the mail to conduct illegal activities, placing our employees and customers in harm’s way. When criminals use the mail for illegal enrichment, Postal Inspectors will not hesitate to ensure they are brought to justice.”

The indictment and criminal complaint are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Snellings; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan Benedict, New York Field Division; the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in-Charge Delany E. De Leon-Colon; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Edward Kennedy; and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

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.