Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Twenty Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Narcotics Conspiracy In The Bronx

    Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and Glenn Sorge, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and the United States Marshals Service today announced further arrests in a federal indictment charging 20 defendants with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in the Bronx, New York, and charging six of those defendants with carrying guns as part of the conspiracy.  Nineteen defendants are now in federal custody – five after having initially fled apprehension.  One defendant remains at large.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman.
            U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated:  “Until these arrests, the flood of poisonous drugs that allegedly accompanied this conspiracy were a plague on the neighborhood these defendants dominated through intimidation and threats of violence.  We thank the New York City Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security for their extraordinary efforts on this case, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their vital assistance in apprehending those fugitives who tried to escape justice.”  
             Commissioner William J. Bratton said:  “The resolve of the NYPD and its law enforcement partners to stamp out illegal narcotic sales and its accompanying violence remains unfettered.  I commend the work of the investigators and prosecutors involved in this case, whose dedication to protecting the residents of New York has resulted in these pivotal arrests.”
            Acting Special Agent in Charge Glenn Sorge said:  “The individuals arrested today wreaked havoc on the neighborhoods of the Bronx by selling crack cocaine to anyone who had the money, including young children.  This operation embodies HSI’s commitment to partner with our federal and state authorities to rid our communities of these dangerous criminal organizations and the violence that comes with them.”  
            Michael Greco, the United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York stated:  “The U.S. Marshals success in this operation was a direct result of interagency collaboration and tireless follow up with previous investigative efforts by HSI and NYPD. The swift apprehension of these dangerous fugitives is proof of the effectiveness and efficiency derived from federal and local law enforcement agencies working together.”            
            As alleged in the Indictment, United States v. Rayshawn Barnes, a/k/a “Twerk,” et al., S1 15 Cr. 288 (RMB)[1]:
            Since at least 2013, the defendants conspired to distribute massive amounts of crack cocaine, as well as other drugs, in an area of the Bronx centered on Barnes Avenue and East 213th Street.  The defendants often sold to children as young as middle school age, and controlled the area by the threat of violence.  Many carried guns to make that threat real. 
            The NYPD and HSI used the full spectrum of law enforcement techniques to investigate this criminal conspiracy.  Through covert surveillance, dozens of undercover purchases of narcotics, and court-authorized wiretaps of the conspirators’ phones, among other methods, law enforcement agents learned the structure and membership of the conspiracy, and amassed evidence of its crimes.    
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            The defendants in United States v. Barnes, et al. face maximum terms of life in prison and mandatory minimum terms of at least 10 years in prison. The  defendants charged with both narcotics conspiracy and gun possession face a mandatory minimum term of at least 15 years in prison. 
            The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the Court.
            A chart containing the names of the defendants who were arrested, and the charges and maximum penalties they face, is attached.
            Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau Bronx Narcotics Major Case Unit, 47th Precinct Narcotics Module, 47th Precinct Detective Squad, and All Source Intelligence Collaboration Unit, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Marshals for the Southern District of New York and the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.
            The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel Maimin, Micah Smith, Robert Allen, and Hagan Scotten are in charge of the prosecution.
            The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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