SYRACUSE, NY – New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Wednesday indictments of 78 people charged with 355 crimes for their links to two major drug distribution networks based in central New York with links to New York City and Westchester County are.
Four indictments were unsealed in court on Wednesday detailing the cocaine distribution network and numerous paraphernalia, including drugs and firearms. James said much of the recovered supply was spiked with fentanyl or heroin, which was a threat to the community.
The two-year inter-agency investigation entitled “Operation Raw Materials” led to the seizure of:
- 32 kilograms of cocaine
- 117 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl
- About $ 490,000
- 15 firearms, including nine “ghost rifles”
The seizures have a street value of over $ 2 million.
The removal was the result of an investigation by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the Oneida, Madison County Drugs Task Force. Several law enforcement agencies, many based in the hinterland, were involved in the removal.
The investigations included covert physical surveillance, thousands of hours of electronic surveillance, and multiple search warrants.
One of the defendants, Robert Hammond, 62, is from the Bronx; another, David Fermin, 49, is from Westchester County, according to the AG office.
One of the charges released on Wednesday focused on the activities of the Flores Group – led by Hector Flores, aka “Pito” – and charged 50 people with 226 points for their role in narcotics sales in Onondaga, Oswego. Oneida, Cortland, Westchester, New York and Bronx Counties, said James’ office.
Another indictment consisted of two defendants: Robert Miguel Lopez and Michael Elias Ventura-Montano. Lopez from Florida orchestrated the delivery of cocaine from Florida to New York City, with Ventura-Montano on the receiving end.
Ventura-Montano is said to have driven the drugs from New York City to Syracuse, where he was intercepted by investigators.
Three kilograms of cocaine and $ 31,000 in cash were recovered by investigators from a special trap door in the center console of the car that Ventura-Montano was driving, officials said.
“Law enforcement engagement has resulted in the killing of not one but two cocaine distribution rings that deliver deadly drugs to central New York,” said New York State Police Superintendent Kevin Bruen. âI applaud the Attorney General’s Office and our other partners for their relentless efforts to target and eliminate these operations. This investigation and disruption of these two drug rings sends a clear message that we have no tolerance for those who sell deadly, illegal drugs in our communities. We continue to strive to work side by side with our partners to make our roads safer. ”
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