Man indicted on gun, drug charges

AMSTERDAM — An Amsterdam resident faces gun and drug charges. Nelson Rodriguez, 38 of Amsterdam, was arraigned Thursday on an indictment charging him with narcotics and firearms offenses.

He was arraigned in Albany before United States Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart and detained pending a trial scheduled before Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe.

Rodriguez’s arraignment was announced in a press release by U.S. Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Amsterdam Police Greg Culick; Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the New York Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Rodriguez was charged in August 2017 with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a class B felony, second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and a charge of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon, fifth-degree possession of marijuana, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

The four-count indictment charges Rodriguez with allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine base, or “crack,” from approximately June 2017 until August 3, 2017; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a handgun in furtherance of a drug trafficking; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $1 million and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least three years and up to life. Rodriguez also faces a consecutive sentence of five years in prison if convicted of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

This case is being investigated by the Amsterdam Police Department and the ATF, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyrus P. W. Rieck.