A man from Hannibal was among 15 arrested by federal authorities as they broke up what they said was a cocaine distribution ring that moved more than half a million dollars of the drug each month through Central New York.
Arrested was David Tolone, 40, of Hannibal. 13 of the other 14 people charged in the case live in Onondaga County. 2 of the 15 suspects have not yet been arrested.
The office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York said in a news release that the investigation began more than a year ago. Investigators used wiretaps and other means to discover that the group allegedly brought in and sold approximately 5 kilograms (approximately 11 pounds) of cocaine each month.
The street value of 5 kilograms is approximately $625,000.
Investigators said they seized 4 kilograms of cocaine, along with $55,000 in cash and seven weapons, including two assault rifles during the various arrests.
All 15 have been charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and with distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine.
Prison sentences in the federal system carry a mandatory minimum. A conviction on the charges will result in a prison sentence no shorter than 5 years, prosecutors said. The maximum prison term on the charges is 40 years. Each could be fined as much as $5 million.