LawFuel – Law Announcements – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special
Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York
Field Divison (“DEA”), and PETER J. SMITH, the Special Agent-in-
Charge of the New York Office of the Department of Homeland
Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”)
announced that JASON NEAL, 33, a resident of the Bronx, New York,
was found guilty by a jury today in Manhattan federal court of
crimes related to NEAL’s orchestration of a cross-country
narcotics transportation scheme and possession of a firearm in
furtherance of the scheme. The Honorable MIRIAM GOLDMAN CEDARBAUM
presided over the seven-day trial. According to the charges and
the evidence at trial:
NEAL arranged a scheme to purchase cocaine in Los
Angeles, California, and transport it to New York City for
resale. To transport the drugs, NEAL purchased a van and had it
outfitted with a secret compartment where the cocaine was hidden.
On January 9, 2008, an officer with the Utah Highway
Patrol stopped the couriers hired by Neal and recovered 5
kilograms of cocaine and two handguns: (1) a .50 caliber Desert
Eagle semi-automatic handgun and (2) a .40 caliber Smith and
Wessen semi-automatic weapon. On January 14, 2008, NEAL was
arrested when he went to meet the couriers in the Bronx to pick
up his cocaine. When NEAL arrived for the meeting, he was
carrying a .357 caliber Desert Eagle semi-automatic handgun in a
secret compartment in his vehicle.
A search of NEAL’S apartment by federal agents after
the arrest uncovered 132 rounds of ammunition, a bullet-proof
vest, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia, all of which was
hidden in a secret compartment that was concealed in an endtable.
The jury convicted NEAL of all three charges against
him: (1) conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine; (2) possession of
marijuana with intent to distribute it; and (3) possession of a
firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
NEAL faces a maximum term of life imprisonment and a
mandatory minimum term of 10 years’ imprisonment on the cocaine
distribution count, a maximum term of 5 years’ imprisonment on
the marijuana count, and a maximum term life imprisonment and a
mandatory consecutive term of 5 years’ imprisonment on the
The investigation was conducted by the New York
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force (“OCDESF”), which
is comprised of agents and officers of DEA, ICE, the United
States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division,
the New York Police Department, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the New York State Police, the United States
Marshals Service, the United States Secret Service, and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s
Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys AMY R.
LESTER and JOHN J. O’DONNELL are in charge of the prosecution.