Feds: Virginia man among several pinched for marijuana smuggling, money laundering; case originated with Oswego County wiretap

SYRACUSE — Multiple Oswego County law enforcement agencies were involved in an investigation that resulted in a man confessing to distributing more than 100 pounds of marijuana.

Jervonne Harris, 41, of Hampton, Virginia, was sentenced Tuesday to 35 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute marijuana and money laundering, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York Grant C. Jaquith.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s office told The Palladium-Times the case’s genesis was a “very productive wiretap” obtained by the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office.

“This is one of a series of cases brought in federal and state court as a result of a court-authorized wiretap that revealed large-scale drug trafficking,” AUSA Richard Southwick said, noting the original indictments were handed down to eight individuals.

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes said the conviction is the result of "many law enforcement agencies working together."

"I'm incredibly grateful to all the police officers who worked so hard on the case and put in innumerable hours," said Oakes, also praising his investigators and the U.S. Attorney's Office for "coordinating with us to secure this conviction."

Harris’ guilty plea contains the admission that between May 2017 and August 2017 he received “bulk quantities of marijuana” from a supplier on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation that straddles the Canadian border near Franklin County, New York, according to federal officials.

He then sold that marijuana to customers in Virginia and sent the proceeds back to his supplier via courier and wire transfer. He admitted to distributing roughly 57 kilograms (125 pounds) of marijuana.

In addition to his term of imprisonment, Harris will also have six years of supervised release, and he must pay a monetary judgement $250,800.

Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Sutcliffe prosecuted the case. In addition to federal law enforcement, also involved in the investigation were personnel from the Oswego County Drug Task Force, city of Oswego Police Department, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, investigators from the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, the SUNY Oswego Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol.

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