Rensselaer County Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Firearm Charges

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Justin Micheli, age 34, of Schodack, New York, pled guilty today to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

As part of his guilty plea, Micheli admitted that on March 16, 2021, he possessed cocaine base, marijuana and assorted pills with the intent to distribute them. He also possessed a loaded semi-automatic pistol made from component parts without a serial number, also known as a “ghost gun,” to protect his drugs and drug proceeds. Micheli also admitted to posting videos of his firearm on social media in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities.

On May 9, 2022, Micheli pled guilty to possessing ammunition as a convicted felon and to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 14, 2022, before United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino in Albany, at which time Micheli faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $5 million, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 4 years and up to life. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statutes the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

This case was investigated by the DEA and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexander Wentworth-Ping. The case was prosecuted to indictment by Assistant United States Attorney Ashlyn Miranda.