Ringleader Orchestrated His Cocaine Trafficking From Federal Prison Using A Smuggled Cellphone
20 Kilos Of Cocaine & Heroin Seized Including Kilos Sent Through The U.S. Mail
14 People Indicted In Cocaine & Heroin Trafficking Ring That Spanned New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida And Puerto Rico
Schneiderman: We Will Not Tolerate Drug Kingpins Trafficking Narcotics Into New York
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Police (NYSP) Superintendent George Beach announced today the indictment of 14 people for their roles in an alleged narcotics trafficking kingpin that spanned New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
The yearlong investigation, dubbed “Operation Jailhouse Rock,” seized more than 20 kilos of cocaine and heroin, including kilos that were sent through U.S. mail, by four distinct large-scale trafficking operations connected by New York-based distributors. The total street value of the narcotics seized in the bust is approximately $1.53 million.
One of the ringleaders directed traffic via a contraband cellphone while serving out a ten-year remainder of a federal drug trafficking sentence in Florida.
“This bust should send a clear message to dealers and traffickers that we will not tolerate drug kingpins brazenly trafficking narcotics into our state,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will use every tool at our disposal to root out criminal drug operations and get dangerous narcotics off our streets. I want to thank the New York State Police for all of their help in bringing these defendants to justice.”
State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “I want to thank the Attorney General’s Office and our federal and local partners for their collaboration on this case. Because of this extensive cooperation between law enforcement agencies, we have disrupted a major drug trafficking operation and put 14 individuals behind bars. This case sends a strong message that we will not tolerate those who bring these dangerous drugs into our communities. “
The indictment, unsealed today in Bronx County Supreme Court Part 60, before Justice Steven Barrett, detailed a sophisticated distribution ring that moved cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York and other states, which was ultimately distributed across the eastern seaboard. Kilograms of cocaine were also sent through the mail hidden in boxing equipment and statues of Santa Maria destined for “catcher” or recipient locations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The heroin was transported and recovered in multiple states hidden in concealed compartments, also called “traps.”
The investigation utilized confidential informants, wiretaps, physical and video surveillance and strategic interceptions of narcotics carried out prior to their ultimately delivery destination. In the wiretaps, the defendants can allegedly be heard discussing methods of transportation, packaging, and tracking numbers and recipient names and addresses for the shipments sent through the mail. Intercepted conversations also included conversations between the distributors and their “testers” who would discuss how well the cocaine “cooked” into crack cocaine and what their assessment was of the quality of the heroin once it was ingested.
Those charged as major traffickers include:
- Angel Melendez Orsini (36), Miami Federal Prison
- Francisco Vega Vasquez (51), Caguas, PR
- Francisco Vega Cancel (26) Cidra, PR
- Juan Rodirguez (50) Bronx, NY
- Edwin Vega (40) Bronx, NY
- Jan Santiago Garcia (38) San Juan, PR
Others indicted include:
- Mayolo Toxqui (36) Bronx, NY
- William Estrada (37) Bronx, NY
- Juan Javier Rivera (38) Winter Haven, Fl
- Wilber Marquez Torres (31) Richmond Hill, NY
- Ramon Amaro (46) Bronx, NY
- Jamille Nelly Nieves (42) Carolina, PR
- George Suggs (54) Bronx, NY
- Victor Holloway (53) Kinston, NC
Those charged as major traffickers could face up to life in prison if convicted. All others could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The investigation was conducted by OCTF Investigator Brian Fleming together with Supervising Investigator Paul Grzegorski and The New York State Police Special Investigations Unit, members of Troop K and C-NET. OCTF investigators are supervised by Deputy Chief Christopher Vasta. The Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.
Several additional agencies assisted in the investigation, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Postal Inspectors, Army Air National Guard, Virginia State Troopers, Deputy Warden Stevie Knight of the Federal Correctional Institution Miami, Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, United States Marshal Service, Bronx County District Attorney Darcel Clark, the New York City Police Department, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Howard Feldberg. Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Organized Crime Task Force.
The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.