Two Rochester Men Arrested On Cocaine Charges Following Chase With Police

Crack cocaine. Stock Photo by DEA.

CONTACT: Barbara Burns

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Brian Cintron, 37, and Edwin Junior Gallardo-Ortiz, 35, both of Rochester, NY, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiring and attempting to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a $10,000,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge stated that according to the criminal complaint, a search warrant was executed on a U.S Postal Express Mail Parcel sent from Puerto Rico and addressed to defendant Cintron at a Waverly Place residence. The parcel contained approximately eight kilograms of cocaine. The contents were replaced with “sham” and the parcel was delivered. A law enforcement officer, dressed as a letter carrier, approached the residence, and identified Clinton who stated that he had been waiting a while for the parcel. Cintron took the parcel and left the area about a short time later in a vehicle driven by defendant Gallardo-Ortiz, who had been driving around the area of the Waverly Place residence for at least an hour prior to the delivery of the parcel.

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Investigators followed the vehicle, which began traveling at higher rates of speed, passing cars over double yellow lines, failing to use turn signals, using the center turn lane to pass vehicles, running red lights and passing stop signs at intersections.  After losing sight of the vehicle for a period of time, the vehicle was observed driving with a flat tire and at a normal speed rate. Investigators again followed the vehicle, which once again sped up. As law enforcement attempted to contain the vehicle, defendant Gallardo-Ortiz attempted to evade one law enforcement vehicle and struck another law enforcement vehicle. The vehicle was stopped, where both Gallardo-Ortiz and Cintron were taken into custody. 

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Video footage from the area of the vehicle chase showed defendant Cintron getting out of the vehicle and attempting to throw the drug parcel into a dumpster.  The parcel didn’t fit in the dumpster, so defendant Cintron went back to the vehicle and spoke with defendant Gallardo-Ortiz, after which he walked around the dumpster and placed the parcel behind the dumpster, where it was later recovered. 

The eight kilograms of cocaine seized has an approximate street value in Rochester of between $500,000 and $800,000.

Cintron and Gallardo-Ortiz made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson Magistrate and are being held pending detention hearings on September 8, 2021.  

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The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in-Charge Joshua W. McCallister of the Boston Division; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan, New York Field Division; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter.   

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.

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