Task Force Breaks Up Cayuga County Drug Ring

Attorney General Spitzer and Cayuga Count District Attorney James B. Vargason today announced that a Cayuga County Grand Jury has handed up an indictment charging 22 Central New York residents with operating a cocaine distribution network.

Officials estimate that the network sold up to one pound of cocaine per month in and around the City of Auburn.

"This case proves the value of close cooperation by law enforcement agencies," Spitzer said. "By working together, we have broken up a network of individuals who were poisoning the community with drugs."

The multi-count indictment charges 14 individuals with felony drug charges, including possession and sale of cocaine, conspiracy and hindering a prosecution.

Leonard Hamilton, 32, of Auburn; James Otis Hamilton, 19, of Syracuse; Joe Roy Baker, 19, of Auburn; Charles Baker of Auburn; Daryl Love, 22, of Auburn; Lynn Youtt, 31, of Auburn; Simone Harrison, 31, of Auburn; Leslie McLeod, 27, of Auburn; James Steigerwald, 32, of Auburn;James Raymond, 43, of Auburn; Adam Baez, 37, of Auburn; Patrick O'Sullivan of Auburn, and Robert Brown, 44, of Auburn.

If convicted of the most serious charges against them, the leaders of the ring face up to 25 years in prison.

Another 12 individuals were arrested on related drug charges. They include:

Rebecca L. Gould, 34, of Auburn; John J. Clemens, 52, of Auburn;Wayne A. Gould, 33, of Auburn; James F. Raymond, 43, of Auburn;Thomas H. Weiller, 30, of Auburn; Francine I. Perdue, 46, of Auburn;Howard L. Thomas, 41, of Auburn;Donna Sweeting, 40, of Auburn; and Nathaniel Prester of Fayetteville.

In addition, Irene Clack, 48, of Auburn was charged with obstructing government operations.

During the course of the investigation, police recovered close to eight ounces of cocaine, a handgun, and approximately $6,500.

The charges stem from a six-month investigation by the: New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force; Cayuga County District Attorney's Office; Auburn City Police Department; Cayuga County Sheriff's Department; Federal Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Town of Dewitt Police Department; New York State Police; New York State Division of Parole; Onondaga County Sheriff's Department; Syracuse Police Department; Village of Weedsport Police Department; Village of Skaneateles Police Department; Town of Marcellus Police Department; Village of Newirk Police Department; and the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office.

The investigation was initiated by Captain Brian Neagle of the Auburn City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General James J. Mindell of the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force's Syracuse Office serving appointed by Cayuga County District Attorney Vargason as a Special Assistant District Attorney for Cayuga County, and Chief Assistant District Attorney Jon Budelmann of the Cayuga County District Attorney's Office.


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