Attorney General James Takes Down Major Drug and Gun Trafficking Rings in Capital Region

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47 People Arrested for Pumping Heroin, Cocaine, Oxycodone
Into Communities, Unlawful Possession of Firearms

Defendants Chargeable for Current Shootings, Violent Crime in Albany

NEW YORK – New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James at present introduced the indictment of 47 people for his or her roles in two main drug and firearm distribution networks that trafficked heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and firearms within the Capital Area. As alleged within the indictments, unsealed in Albany County Court docket at present, this year-long investigation seized almost 1.2 kilograms of cocaine, 140 grams of heroin combined with fentanyl, oxycodone, $40,000 in money, and 9 firearms, together with one “ghost gun.”

“For the previous 12 months, Albany and the encompassing areas have been tormented by violent crime that has terrorized our communities and claimed too many lives,” stated Lawyer Basic James. “These people have allegedly flooded our streets with harmful narcotics and are accountable for lots of the shootings which were on the middle of this devastation. As we speak’s takedown is one more main motion to fight violent crime and maintain accountable those that search to hazard our communities. We are going to proceed to take each motion potential to get weapons off our streets, and I thank the Albany Police Division, and all our companions in regulation enforcement, for his or her assist in defending our communities.”

“Harmful medicine and weapons haven’t any place in our communities,” stated Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins. “As we speak, we’re sending a powerful message that we’ll use all out there assets to deal with violent crime in our neighborhoods and take away any offenders accountable from our streets. By way of operations, comparable to ‘Cross City Quarantine,’ we stay dedicated to working collaboratively with our regulation enforcement companions to make sure that our communities stay secure. I’d wish to commend Lawyer Basic James for her management, in addition to her unwavering assist to our company and general security of the Albany group.”

As we speak’s takedown was the results of a joint investigation between the Workplace of the Lawyer Basic’s (OAG) Organized Crime Job Power (OCTF), the Albany Police Division, and the FBI Secure Streets Job Power. The investigation — dubbed “Operation Crosstown Quarantine” — centered on two rival crosstown gangs in Albany and included the usage of bodily surveillance, digital surveillance, and undercover operations. Throughout the course of the investigation, along with communication by cell telephones, the defendants repeatedly relied on social media, particularly Fb and Snapchat, to promote and procure medicine and overtly brag and show unlawful firearms. 

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Indictment One

The primary conspiracy facilities across the “Uptown Associates” gang and the chief of this drug distribution community: Jamar Brayboy, a/okay/a “Un.” Brayboy employed an enormous community of people to promote his medicine and had quite a few reseller clients that introduced heroin and cocaine from New York Metropolis to promote in and across the Capital Area, in addition to New York and Orange counties, and even had resellers bringing medicine to Vermont. Brayboy additionally relied on Fb to illegally promote his narcotics.

The second conspiracy facilities across the “Downtown Associates” gang and the chief of this drug distribution community: Tyshawn Morris, a/okay/a “Mac.” Morris additionally employed a big community of sellers and resellers who primarily operated in Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties. Morris is being charged with Working as a Main Trafficker, which carries a compulsory life sentence in state jail. The defendants and their co-conspirators continuously utilized coded and cryptic terminology in an try and disguise their illicit actions. Along with the standard codes — comparable to referring to crack cocaine as “exhausting” and powder cocaine as “tender” — Morris used widespread road phrases for marijuana and to seek advice from cocaine, in an try and confuse regulation enforcement, within the occasion they have been monitoring his actions. For example, Morris and his associates referred to crack cocaine as “Bitter” and powder cocaine as “Kush,” each widespread names for marijuana. 

Indictments Two, Three, 4, and 5

Throughout the course of the investigation, OCTF was in a position to set up that quite a few members of the “Downtown Associates” have been using Snapchat with a view to site visitors unlawful pharmaceuticals, particularly oxycodone. Keion Kirkley, El Shaquille Douglas, and Daion Morris often offered unlawful prescription remedy (oxycodone and others) over Snapchat by posting footage and/or movies of capsule bottles marked “Oxycodone” with captions, comparable to “Boots! Rp 10s Rp 20s & Inexperienced 15s GWM,” referring to prescription tablets (“boots”) on the market, “GWM” (get with me), and what milligram strengths have been out there, 10mg tablets, 20mg tablets, and so forth. 

Different members of the “Downtown Associates,” often called the “50 Gang” — a reference to the high-capacity magazines that they connect to their firearms, which permit them to carry as much as 50 rounds of ammunition — have been using Snapchat to submit movies and footage of unlawful weapons, which they and their fellow members used to hold out their gang violence actions. Members often posted movies and footage of themselves possessing handguns, rifles, and machine weapons, normally with high-capacity magazines protruding from the gun. Members of the “50 Gang” vary from 18 years outdated to 25 years outdated, and they’re thought of by regulation enforcement to be accountable for quite a few drive-by shootings and homicides which were plaguing the Metropolis of Albany over the previous 12 months, together with the latest deadly capturing of an 18-year-old in downtown Albany.

The indictments cost 47 people with crimes that embody numerous counts of Felony Sale and Felony Possession of a Managed Substance (class A, B, and C felonies); Conspiracy to commit these crimes; numerous counts of Felony Sale and Possession of a Firearm; Felony Possession of a Weapon; and Enterprise Corruption. A fifth indictment additionally prices two “Uptown Associates” with weapons possession.

As we speak’s takedown marks the most recent main drug bust within the OAG’s Suburban and Upstate Response to the Rising Epidemic (S.U.R.G.E.) Initiative, a regulation enforcement effort that brings collectively state and native regulation enforcement to focus on New York’s rising — and infrequently violent — heroin, opioid, and narcotics trafficking networks. Since launching in 2017, SURGE has taken 644 alleged traffickers off the streets.

The primary indictment accommodates 521 counts and prices 33 individuals with crimes in relation to their involvement within the narcotics trafficking operation, together with Working as a Main Trafficker (class A-I felony), Felony Sale and Felony Possession of a Managed Substance (class A, B, and C felonies), in addition to Conspiracy within the Second diploma (class B felony). 

These charged in Indictment One embody:

DARRELL ANDERSON, 29 years outdated, Schenectady, NY
BENJAMIN BADGLEY, 29 years outdated, Clinton, NY
ANDERSON BENOIT, A/Ok/A “MALI,” 39 years outdated, Rutland, VT
RONALD BERG, 39 years outdated, Schenectady, NY
JAMAR BRAYBOY, A/Ok/A “UN,” 43 years outdated, Albany, NY
JOHN CHAPMAN, 51 years outdated, Albany, NY
JESSIE CORNER, 47 years outdated, Albany, NY
NIEZIER ELLIS, A/Ok/A “NEECHO,” 26 years outdated, Albany, NY
RONALD EVANS, A/Ok/A “GOTTI,” 44 years outdated, Albany, NY
MANIEF FIELDS, 27 years outdated, Albany, NY
DEREK GEORGE, 29 years outdated, Albany, NY
ANTHONY GOLSON, A/Ok/A “EYE,” 41 years outdated, Albany, NY
FREDERICK HEIDELMARK, 48 years outdated, Albany, NY
THOMAS HEMMINGWAY, 41 years outdated, Albany, NY
DANIEL INGERSOLL, 38 years outdated, Albany, NY
MAZENE LACY, 41 years outdated, Albany, NY
CHRISTINA LEWIS, 52 years outdated, Rensselaer, NY
DONTRAY LUNDAY, 41 years outdated, Schenectady, NY
ERICA MASON, 38 years outdated, Warren, NY
JORGE MENDEZ, A/Ok/A “KUSHIE SUNOCO,” 27 years outdated, Albany, NY
JOSE MILLER, 52 years outdated, Albany, NY
TYSHWAN MORRIS, A/Ok/A “MAC,” 29 years outdated, Schenectady, NY
LUIS NAVARRO, A/Ok/A “LV,” 34 years outdated, Schenectady, NY
JOEMAR NUNEZ, 24 years outdated, Albany, NY
JOSUE NUNEZ, A/Ok/A “SWAY,” 40 years outdated, Albany, NY
RONALD PERSER, 69 years outdated, Albany, NY
RIZEL SIMS, 31 years outdated, Montgomery, NY
EMMANUEL SMITH, 50 years outdated, Warren, NY
ANGEL SOTO, 33 years outdated, Albany, NY
THERESA STANLEY, 38 years outdated, Albany, NY
MARCUS VILLANO, 50 years outdated, Schenectady, NY
KACY WEAVER, 47 years outdated, Albany, NY
FREDERICK WILLIAMS, 32 years outdated, Albany, NY

The remaining indictments include 196 counts and cost 14 individuals with crimes in relation to their involvement within the narcotics trafficking and weapons possession, together with Enterprise Corruption (class B felony), Felony Sale and Felony Possession of a Managed Substance (class B felony), and Felony Possession of a Weapon (class C, D, and E felonies). 

These charged within the remaining indictments are:

KAYONTEE BARTEE, 23 years outdated, Albany, NY
PRINCE CURETON, 28 years outdated, Albany, NY
PEDRO DAVILA, 26 years outdated, Albany, NY
EL-SHAQUILLE DOUGLAS, A/Ok/A “DOLO”, 27 years outdated, Albany, NY
ALVIN FOY, A/Ok/A “BHIP”, A/Ok/A “CHIP”, 18 years outdated, Albany, NY
DREW GREENE, A/Ok/A/ “DRIZZY”, A/Ok/A “TAY Ok”, A/Ok/A “SPRAY”, 19 years outdated, Albany, NY
NICHOLAS HIGGINS, A/Ok/A “SLICK”, 28 years outdated, Albany, NY
KEION KIRKLEY, A/Ok/A “HIT”, 22 years outdated, Albany, NY
JAHMERE MANNING, A/Ok/A “SPLASH”, 19 years outdated, Albany, NY
ZAEQUIAL SHAW, 19 years outdated, Albany, NY
KYMALE THOMPSON, A/Ok/A “GLO”, 18 years outdated, Albany, NY
NEYLON WAGNER, A/Ok/A “LOTO”, 19 years outdated, Schenectady, NY

DAION MORRIS, 28 years outdated, Rensselaer, NY, was charged in a separate, associated indictment that was unsealed at present containing 13 counts, charging him with Felony Sale of a Managed substance (class B felony).

ESHAWN BERKLEY, 23 years outdated, Albany, NY, was charged in a separate, associated indictment that was unsealed at present containing 36 counts, charging him with Felony Possession of a Weapon (C, D, and E felonies).

The fees towards the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed harmless except and till confirmed responsible in a courtroom of regulation.

“I thank Lawyer Basic James and her workers for dedicating time and assets to those circumstances,” stated Albany County District Lawyer David Soares. “The inflow of unlawful weapons and medicines in our communities has left many individuals scared to even be outdoors in Albany. These indictments illustrate a message that prison exercise can be investigated and prosecuted. I’m grateful for this partnership and the dedication to creating our communities secure for all.”

“I commend the exhausting work of the legal professional normal’s Organized Crime Taskforce, the FBI Secure Streets Job Power, and the Albany Police Division in serving to to place a cease to the violent crime we’ve got been experiencing within the Metropolis of Albany,” stated State Senator Neil Breslin. “Partnerships comparable to this present the justice and resolve that metropolis residents have been calling for.”

“Anytime we take away giant quantities of unlawful medicine and firearms from our streets we save future lives and enhance the general public’s security,” stated State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “I commend and thank Lawyer Basic Letitia James and her workplace’s Organized Crime Job Power brokers, the FBI’s Secure Streets Job Power members, and Albany Police Division officers for his or her work in bringing those that flood our native communities with unlawful weapons and firearms to justice.” 

“Our group, like many others, has struggled with an uptick in violence and too many harmless lives have been taken by gun violence within the Capital Metropolis,” stated State Assemblymember John T. McDonald III. “This violence is a direct results of the unlawful drug and firearm commerce that has been rampant in communities. I’m glad to see the outcomes of the coordinated efforts by the New York legal professional normal’s Organized Crime Job Power, the FBI Secure Streets Job Power, and the Albany Police Division to arrest these people who’ve induced vital trauma, not solely to the households who’ve misplaced a cherished one, but additionally to the numerous people and households who reside in our neighborhoods and have considerations for their very own security. Thanks to the legal professional normal for her management and to all concerned who work in the direction of bringing those that trigger hurt to justice.”

“My message to violent criminals continues to be clear: If you happen to possess an unlawful gun in Albany, we are going to do all the pieces in our energy — together with partnering with federal, state, and native regulation enforcement authorities to seek out you, arrest you, and put you in jail for a really very long time,” stated Metropolis of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “These arrests are additional proof that our partnerships with New York Lawyer Basic Letitia James and the FBI are serving to improve public security, and that we’ll proceed to work alongside each other to carry violent people to justice.”

Along with regulation enforcement companions, Lawyer Basic James would additionally wish to thank Albany County District Lawyer David Soares for his help on this investigation.

The investigation was directed by Albany Police Division Detective Invoice Norris, beneath the supervision of Detective Sergeant James Wooden; and OCTF Detective Maria Romeo, with the help of the Nationwide Guard Counter Drug Job Power, beneath the supervision of Detective Supervisor John Monte and Deputy Chief John McManus. The OAG’s Investigations Division is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. 

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Lawyer Basic and Senior Counsel Michael Sharpe, with the help of Confidential Assistant Stephanie Pitts and Authorized Assist Analyst AnnaLisa MacPhee, beneath the supervision of OCTF Deputy Bureau Chief Maria Moran. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Lawyer Basic in Cost of OCTF. Each the Investigations Bureau and OCTF are a part of the Division for Felony Justice. The Division for Felony Justice is led by Chief Deputy Lawyer Basic José Maldonado, and is overseen by First Deputy Lawyer Basic Jennifer Levy.

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