Federal Jury Convicts Rochester Man Of Drug Conspiracy And Selling Cocaine And Fentanyl

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

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that following a four-week trial, a federal jury has convicted Earnest Baker, 36, of Rochester, NY, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl and distributing cocaine and fentanyl. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Everardo Rodriguez and Matthew T. McGrath, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that the investigation into the conspiracy began in 2018, while Baker was in federal prison, serving his sentence on a prior drug conviction. Baker was released in August 2019 on federal supervised release and New York State parole, and quickly returned to drug dealing activities. During the course of the investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents made two controlled purchases of narcotics from Baker and used various investigative techniques to surveil Baker’s drug dealing activities and his interactions with other drug dealers with whom he conspired.

Baker was arrested on April 30, 2020, along with 17 other defendants. That same day, search warrants were executed at 24 residences in Rochester, West Henrietta, Penfield, Greece, Irondequoit, and Syracuse, and on 12 cars associated with defendants. During the execution of those search warrants, investigators seized eight firearms; approximately 3.5 kilograms of fentanyl; approximately two kilograms of cocaine and crack cocaine, and $928,400 in cash and over $500,000 worth of jewelry.

The trial of the remaining co-defendants is scheduled for January 2023.

The verdict is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rochester Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Frank A. Tarentino III, New York Field Division; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Interim Chief David Smith; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Barry Chase; the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Wood; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito; the U.S. Marshal Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter; the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Philip Povero; and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci. Additional assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Buffalo and Syracuse Resident Offices.

Baker is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14, 2022, by Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford, who presided over the trial. 

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