A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrests Of 52 Violent Targets Operating Multi-state, Gang-controlled Cocaine, Heroin And Pill Trafficking Ring Based In The Capital Region

Multi-Agency Crackdown Leads to 261 Count Indictment Charging Defendants With Distributing Drugs In NYC, Seven Upstate Counties And Vermont

'Operation OGK' Is The Largest Single Take Down In The History Of The Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force

Schneiderman: Drug Traffickers Who Have Threatened Our Neighborhoods Will Be Brought To Justice

ALBANY - In the largest single take down in the history of the Organized Crime Task Force, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrests and 261 count indictment of 52 members of a violent narcotics network who were distributing massive quantities of cocaine, heroin and various illegal prescription medications, including Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Percocet from New York City, throughout the Capital Region, as well as Greene, Orange, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Ulster and Warren Counties in New York, in addition to the State of Vermont. 

As part of an operation code-named "OGK," based on the affiliation of some of the defendants with a home grown Albany-based street gang called the Original Gangsta Killas, state and local law enforcement agents led by the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), the Albany Police Department and the New York State Police, concluded a six-month investigation into this drug network that was conducting its illicit activities on the streets of the Capital Region. 

"These drug traffickers threatened our communities and wreaked havoc on families across the state for too long, and now they will be brought to justice," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "This investigation has shut down a major network of gang members responsible for the sale of illegal drugs and possession of dangerous weapons in our neighborhoods. I want to thank our partners in law enforcement - Albany Police Department and the New York State Police - for working with us to get these dangerous individuals and deadly narcotics off the streets."

The indictment, which was unsealed today in Albany County Court, contains 261 counts, charges 52 people with various Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class A, B, C, D felonies) and Conspiracy in the second degree (class B felony) in relation to their involvement in the narcotics trafficking network. Five of the defendants, Anthony Lugo, Mario Perez, Guy Anderson, Michael Williams and Haneef Washington, are also charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, which carries the potential of a life sentence.

Richard Gibbs (aka "50 Cent"), was one of the main subjects of this investigation. Back in November, he was murdered in the South End of Albany by a rival gang. Following that incident, OCTF investigators were informed about additional retaliation over authorized wiretaps. This allowed investigators to intercept the gun that was intended to be used in the retaliation attempt. The increasing violence on the streets made it necessary for OCTF to move quickly on this case before there was any more bloodshed. 

Among those indicted are five members of OGK - Jamel Pearson, Tahreen Jeanotte, Michael Marabel, Allen Bace and Marquis Johnson. Additionally, two of the drug network's leaders were members of another street gang - the Bloods - Michael Williams, Haneef Washington, along with Gilbert Pilet. 

Gerald D. Jennings, Albany Mayor said, "Through a very collaborative investigation some of the area's most dangerous people and drug traffickers are now off our streets. As we move forward we will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners in order to keep our streets safe and provide an environment where everyone can live freely without the fear of senseless violence and illegal drugs in their neighborhoods. We will hold anyone accountable who chooses to partake in the sale and distribution of illegal drugs and violence. I commend Attorney General Schneiderman and his office for spearheading this investigation." 

Joseph A. D'Amico, New York State Police Superintendent said, "The collaborative investigative efforts of the State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force, the New York State Police, the Albany Police Department, and our law enforcement partners, have resulted in the dismantling of a major narcotics distribution network and the arrests of numerous dangerous individuals. Drug trafficking has long been a catalyst for violence and other criminal activities that plague a number of our communities. These arrests send a strong message that New York State will not tolerate these threats in our communities."

This massive take down and indictment is the culmination of a major investigation which is part of Attorney General Schneiderman's ongoing efforts to combat narcotic trafficking and other crimes through OCTF's Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative. 

The Attorney General's indictment contains 261 counts, and charged the following 52 people with different crimes in relation to their involvement in the narcotics trafficking operation, including:

Five Defendants charged as Major Traffickers:

1. Guy Anderson 
34 years old
Albany, NY

2. Anthony Lugo
37 years old
Manhattan, NY

3. Mario Perez
34 years old
Troy, NY

4. Michael "Jigga" Williams
26 years old
Albany, NY

5. Haneef Washington
32 years old
Albany, NY

Additional Defendants:

1. Gaston Avendano-Nilo
27 years old
Ellenville, NY 

2. Allen Bace
29 years old
Albany, NY

3. Randy Beach 
36 years old
Rensselaer, NY

4. Raquel Brace
23 years old
Albany, NY

5. Richard Cabrera
38 years old
Albany, NY

6. Richard Collier
20 years old
Glens Falls, NY

7. Jerry Cooley
31 years old
Albany, NY

8. James Crew
24 years old
Troy, NY

9. Charles Faust
42 years old
Saugerties, NY

10. Drew Green
34 years old
Troy, NY

11. Lamont Green
35 years old
Albany, NY

12. Charles Guadalupe
40 years old
Kerhonkson, NY

13. Ashanti Harris
26 years old
Newburgh, NY

14. Bethany Haynes
27 years old
Vermont

15. Mulslima Hoffler
31 years old
Troy, NY

16. Phil Hollendonner
49 years old
Vermont

17. Tahreen Jeanotte
28 years old
Albany, NY

18. Jasmine Johnson
24 years old
Albany, NY

19. Marquese Johnson
35 years old
Albany, NY

20. Chester Jones
34 years old
Albany, NY

21. Elshay Jones
26 years old
Albany, NY

22. Aleshia "Lisa" Keener 
27 years old
Schenectady, NY

23. James Keyes
21 years old
Albany, NY

24. Brandon Langston
32 years old
Albany, NY

25. Justin Laurel
30 years old
Wawarsing, NY

26. Terrance Lee
22 years old
Troy, NY

27. Michael Marable
30 years old
Albany, NY

28. Kevin "Kunta" Mason 
34 years old
Schenectady, NY

29. Matthew McQuain
43 years old
Glens Falls, NY

30. William Mendez
34 years old
Bronx, NY

31. Lauren Murray
23 years old
Albany, NY

32. Travis Nutbrown
33 years old
Vermont

33. Christopher Padelsky
38 years old
Troy, NY

34. Dayerling Paez
24 years old
Troy, NY

35. Jamel Pearson
34 years old
Albany, NY

36. Gilbert "HB" Pilet
25 years old
Albany, NY

37. Jeffrey Pitts
41 years old
Saratoga Springs, NY

38. Franklin Russell
39 years old
Schenectady, NY

39. Jesus "Jose" Santiago 
26 years old
Troy, NY

40. David Sibincich
53 years old
Troy, NY

41. Schyla Silburn
39 years old
Albany, NY

42. Gaelen Smiley
38 years old
Rensselaer, NY

43. Anthony Smith
39 years old
Watervliet, NY

44. Anthony Taylor
31 years old
Albany, NY

45. Davon Tolliver
32 years old
Poughkeepsie, NY

46. Richard Williams
36 years old
Albany, NY

47. Christopher Zielinski
47 years old
East Greenbush, NY

According to the Attorney General's investigators, in 1993, a group on the East Coast created a gang known as the United Blood Nation. Formed in New York City's Rikers Island jail, inmates created the group as a way to protect themselves from the Latin Kings, which was the preeminent gang in the jail system at that time. Although the United Blood Nation was born in the prison system, as members were paroled to the streets, they formed the Bloods street gangs on the East Coast emulating the Los Angeles Bloods lifestyle.

The Original Gangsta Killas is considered one of Albany's most notorious street gangs. The South End-based gang was formerly known as the "Black Gangstas." Their rivals are predominately a gang from the North-End of Albany called the "Jungle Junkies."

The charges contained in the indictment are the result of a six-month joint investigation by the OCTF, Albany Police Department and the New York State Police, with the assistance of the NY National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the United States Marshals Service, Rensselaer County Task Force, City of Troy Police Department, and the Bennington Police Department (Vermont). 

The investigation was directed by OCTF Special Investigator Dennis Guiry under the supervision of Special Investigator William Charles, and Deputy Chief Investigator, Gene Black, under the supervision of Chief Dominick Zarrella. The Albany Police Department Sergeants Brian Quinn and Ed O'Leary, and Detectives John Monte and James Wood, under the supervision of Lt. Jeff Roberts, Commander Anthony Ryan, and Chief of Police Steven Krokoff, and New York State Police Senior Investigator Samuel Mercado, under the supervision of Lt. Michael Tietz also assisted in the case.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Michael Sharpe, under the supervision of OCTF Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice, Nancy Hoppock.

The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. 

 

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