Addiction Treatment

Rochester based heroin dealers sentenced to more than 100 years for trafficking

Call 800-926-9037 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor. Who Answers?

Rochester based drug dealers sentenced to 100 years in prison

A Philadelphia to Rochester heroin pipeline was broken up in 2016, and the ringleaders and distributors were sentenced cumulatively to more than 100 years in prison. This week, two more of the Rochester-based dealers were sentenced. In Rochester’s federal court, Damon Montgomery was sentenced to 18 years, and Johnnie Balkman was sentenced to 10 years.

In all, 15 people have pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. All of them had been charged. There are still several more defendants awaiting sentencing within the coming months, indicating that the total number of years may increase.

U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci, Jr. brought up the fact that heroin is claiming lives daily when he sentenced Balkman on Thursday.

During an investigation and search in 2016, police seized nearly 23,000 individual bags or decks of heroin in the conspiracy involving Montgomery and Balkman. That was more heroin than was seized in Rochester in 2014 and 2015 together.

According to the police, the drugs were supplied in Philadelphia and then shipped to Rochester, where they were sold, and the money was sent back to Philadelphia. The dealers from Philly were confident of payment since the heroin trade was so brisk and reliable in Rochester.

In Rochester, a multi-unit building on Thurston Road was found to be the hub of much of the heroin distribution. Authorities estimated that the network moved about $50,000 worth on a weekly basis.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Gregory spoke about the frequency of these drug trafficking trips, stating that exchanges of heroin from Philadelphia suppliers to Rochester dealers were occurring multiple times per week.

While authorities would like to say that this drug ring was the only one, the reality is that multiple rings have been broken up from Philadelphia with connections to Rochester. Gregory acknowledged that in the past three years, there have been arrests in three separate distributions networks from Philadelphia.

This might not be the only ring distributing heroin, but it is clear that the police are looking to send a message with these sentences, discouraging others from joining the drug trade.

Heroin is a particularly addictive street drug, and many dealers are now mixing it with fentanyl, creating a more potent, and dangerous, high for the users. Additionally, additives can be mixed in, making it even more damaging to the body and its organs.

How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the Addictions.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither Addictions.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.