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Post date: September 29 1999

Spitzer And Local Officials Strike Syracuse Drug Ring

Attorney General Spitzer, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and Syracuse Police Chief John Falge today announced an indictment charging five people with operating a cocaine ring in Onondaga County.

The action breaks up the operation of a drug ring which, the indictment charges, over a period of several months this spring and summer, routinely transported pounds of powder and crack cocaine worth tens of thousands of dollars from Rochester for sale in and around Syracuse.

"Drugs are a plague on our society, destroying lives and ruining the quality of life in too many of our neighborhoods," said Spitzer. "I salute the Onondaga County District Attorney, the Syracuse Police Department and members of my Organized Crime Task Force for their continued efforts to combat this plague."

"Crime knows no boundaries," said District Attorney Fitzpatrick. "This is a great example of how cooperation amongst various agencies can work to protect our community."

"Anytime there are collective resources and we combine our efforts we're successful in our fight against drug sales," said Police Chief Falge.

Law enforcement officials used wiretaps, surveillance and search warrants to gather evidence in their investigation of the drug ring. Between April and July of this year, the investigation resulted in the seizure of nearly three pounds of cocaine and more than $10,000 in cash.

This is the latest in a series of actions taken by a task force established in 1994 by the Attorney General and the Onondaga County District Attorney to combat cocaine trafficking in central New York.

Named in the indictments handed up Friday by a Syracuse grand jury are:

  • Rendell Matthews, 27, of 189 Lincoln Ave., Syracuse, who is charged with one count of second degree conspiracy, two counts of first degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
  • Norma Smith, 35, of 129 Rockland Ave., Syracuse who is charged with one count of second degree conspiracy, one count of first degree conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and one count of third degree conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.
  • Deyon Smith, 25, of 241 Kenmore Ave., Syracuse, who is charged with one count of second degree conspiracy, one count of second degree conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and one count of third degree conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.

The two other defendants named in the indictment are currently being sought by law enforcement officials.

The above charges are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, all defendants named in the indictment face penalties of up to life in prison.