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Jamestown drug ring leader pleads guilty to fentanyl distribution

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  • Staff Report 

Rocco A. Beardsley, a 38-year-old from Jamestown has pleaded guilty to charges of narcotic conspiracy and distribution of fentanyl causing death, as announced by U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross. The plea came just as jury selection for his federal trial was about to start, with Beardsley now facing a mandatory minimum of 20 years to a potential life sentence. The conviction pertains to his involvement in selling methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other controlled substances between late 2018 and March 2020.

Beardsley was implicated in the death of an individual, identified only as J.A., on April 9, 2019, due to the sale of acetyl fentanyl and fentanyl. Following the death, Beardsley attempted to conceal his role by instructing others to destroy evidence linked to the overdose scene. His operation involved the use of social media for drug trafficking and the management of properties in Jamestown for distribution activities.

The guilty plea results from an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies, under the umbrella of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation. The investigation led to the seizure of significant quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and firearms. Beardsley’s sentencing is set for July 23, 2024, marking a significant closure to a case that has seen seven defendants charged and convicted.