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October 28, 2016
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Sullivan marijuana grow house ring leaders charged

NATIELLO and FERNANDEZ were arrested today and presented in White Plains federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith this afternoon. The remaining defendants are at large. If convicted, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. In addition, the Government is also seeking forfeiture of $100 million in proceeds obtained as a result of the offenses charged in the Indictment.

Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, the United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, the United States Marshal Service, and the United States Attorney’s Office. The Strike Force is partially funded by the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, which is a federally funded crime fighting initiative. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office for its role in the investigation.

This case is being handled by the White Plains Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Collins, Jr. is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.