Two Akwesasne residents were arrested Thursday after the unsealing of a federal indictment in Syracuse charging them with conspiring to obtain and distribute large quantities of marijuana.
Amos Conners, 41, and Melissa Brown, 42, are each charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distributing more than 220 pounds of marijuana. Also named in the indictment and facing the same charge is Luman Paro, 51, Syracuse.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Brown, who is prosecuting the case, said the trio was moving pot from the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation to the Syracuse area from sometime in 2009 until September 2011. He would not comment on whether it was grown locally or trafficked from another area.
All three turned themselves in to federal authorities, Mr. Brown said. He said the indictment was unsealed Wednesday and their initial appearance was Thursday.
Mr. Conners and Ms. Brown were released until their next court appearance. Mr. Paro has a detention hearing Monday where he may be remanded to federal custody, Mr. Brown said.
If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison, up to a maximum of 40 years and a fine up to a maximum of $5 million, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. Any period of incarceration would be followed by four years of post-release supervision, the release said.
Mr. Brown said there will be no additional arrests stemming from the case.
The release says the arrests resulted from a joint investigation carried out by the Syracuse resident office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Central New York High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Strike Force and the U.S. attorneys office.