ROCHESTER — A Livingston County drug dealer pleaded guilty Thursday before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr.

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Carlos Garcia Rivero, 45, of Mt. Morris, pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and 500 grams or more of cocaine.

The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. McGrath, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was the leader of a cocaine trafficking organization based in Mt. Morris. Rivero obtained bulk quantities of powder cocaine to be distributed, at his direction, by a number of street level drug dealers as either powder or crack cocaine. The defendant would supply the street level drug dealers with pre-packaged quantities, which they would then sell to individual drug users.

Rivero was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 20, 2019, as he arrived at JFK International Airport on a flight arriving from Colombia. Investigators located nearly 500 grams of powder cocaine hidden in the basement of the defendant’s residence on Chapel Street in Mt. Morris. Over $15,000 in cash was located at another premises utilized by the organization for its drug dealing activities.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert; the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Livingston County Drug Task Force, under the direction of Sheriff Thomas Dougherty; and the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Gregory J. McCaffrey.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 22 at 3 p.m. before Chief Judge Geraci.