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Post date: May 17 2016

A.G. Schneiderman, NYSP Superintendent D’Amico, Syracuse Police Chief Fowler Announce Takedown Of Statewide Drug Pipelines In “Operation Smackdown”

Over 70 People Indicted As Part Of Syracuse Area Narcotics Sweep: Dozens Of Area Heroin And Cocaine Dealers Arrested

Schneiderman: To Protect Our Communities From The Heroin Scourge, We Must Fight The Epidemic On Multiple Fronts

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, New York State Police (NYSP) Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico, and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler today announced the indictment of 72 people charged with operating two drug distribution rings: one that allegedly transported heroin, cocaine and narcotic pills between New York City and Syracuse; and a second that allegedly sold cocaine in the suburbs of Syracuse and in adjacent Oswego County. 

Along with “Operation Rolling Thunder” in Buffalo on May 12, the Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Police have now announced the indictments of nearly 100 alleged narcotics distributors in the region in the past five days.

“Operation Smackdown is a significant attack against the heroin epidemic that continues to plague Central New York,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “I will not tolerate those who sell death in our neighborhoods. My office and our partners in law enforcement will use all of the tools and resources at our disposal to fight this epidemic in every New York community.”

State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amicosaid, “Today’s arrests are part of an aggressive strategy to target the networks that are bringing heroin and other dangerous narcotics into upstate communities. State Police will continue to partner with local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Office to shut these illegal operations down and put the perpetrators behind bars.” 

“Operation Smackdown continued the efforts that law enforcement has been taking to combat the heroin issues facing our communities,” Syracuse Police Chief Frank L. Fowler said. “We will continue our efforts and working with other agencies, with the ultimate goal of eradicating this problem.”

Over the course of the eleven-month investigation, which was led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), New York State Police, and the Syracuse Police Department, authorities seized:

  • 10,750 ready-to-sell baggies of heroin
  • 2 ounces of bulk heroin capable of being packaged into another 2,100 bags of heroin.
  • More than 1 pound of cocaine
  • 65 oxycodone pills
  • 21 hydrocodone pills
  • 2 hand guns
  • An electronic stun gun (disguised as a flashlight)
  • 9 rifles, including an assault rifle
  • 7 shot guns, and
  • $40,000 in cash

The four separate indictments charge 72 individuals with 227 crimes including Operating as a Major Trafficker, and various counts of Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class A and B felonies), and Conspiracy to commit those crimes. The Operating as a Major Trafficker statute (§220.77 of the Penal Law of the State of New York), authored by Attorney General Schneiderman when he was a legislator, went into effect in November 2009, as part of reforms to the Rockefeller-era drug laws and is the only felony narcotics charge in the state that carries a possible life sentence.

“Operation Smackdown” focuses on two major distribution rings:

The first ring – codenamed “Flowers” -- was allegedly comprised of at least 37 individuals, who are charged on three separate indictments. This ring would allegedly send heroin from New York City to Syracuse and then distribute it in and around Syracuse. Over the course of the eleven-month investigation, authorities seized 10,750 bags of heroin, and more than two ounces of bulk heroin capable of being packaged into another 2,100 bags of heroin.

This ring includes the three people charged with “Operating as a Major Trafficker”:

  • JULIO SANTOS of Camillus, New York
  • REINALDO SANTOS of Syracuse, New York
  • MAGEN SOLANO of Syracuse, New York

The three traffickers allegedly arranged for narcotics to be transported from New York City to Syracuse.

The second ring – codenamed “Over the River” -- alleges that 35 individuals sold cocaine in the suburbs of Syracuse and adjacent Oswego County.

Those charged in today’s four indictments include:

  • JULIO SANTOS of Camillus, New York (Charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker)
  • REINALDO SANTOS of Syracuse, New York (Charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker)
  • MAGEN SOLANO of Syracuse, New York (Charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker)
  • HENRY AGUAYO of Syracuse, New York
  • ZEZELL MONIQUE BEYENE AGUAYO of Liverpool, New York
  • JORGE ALVARADO of Syracuse, New York
  • WENDI BURKE of Cicero, New York
  • CHARLES BUSKE of Oswego, New York
  • TRISTAN FONTANEZ CIRINO of Syracuse, New York
  • ASHLEY CORSETTE of Liverpool, New York
  • JERRY CRAW of Fayetteville, New York
  • EDDY CUELLO of Syracuse, New York
  • DANIEL P. DOHERTY of Camillus, New York
  • JOSEPH DONAHUE of Minoa, New York
  • DOUGLAS ELFORD of Canastota, New York
  • DANIEL EMOND of East Syracuse, New York
  • FRANCISCO FLORES of Syracuse, New York
  • JOHN FOLEY of Pulaski, New York
  • ELLIOT FREELON of Syracuse, New York
  • CATHERINE FUOCO of Central Square, New York
  • TIMOTHY GALARNEAU of Brewerton, New York
  • ADAM GILKEY of Minoa, New York
  • RONALD HALL of Cicero, New York
  • BRENT HARRINGTON of Central Square, New York
  • JAMES HARRIS of Syracuse, New York
  • ALFRED HOFFMAN of Syracuse, New York
  • THOMAS HOLMQUIST of Hastings, New York
  • BRIAN HONORS of Minoa, New York
  • STEVEN HOYT of Kirkville, New York
  • LAMYKE KELLY of Syracuse, New York
  • JOSHUA KINGSLEY of East Syracuse, New York
  • GEORGE KLAPAN of Pulaski, New York
  • JACQUELIN LANDO a/k/a JACQUELIN SHOWERS of Oswego, New York
  • JULIE LONG of Kirkville, New York
  • DENISE MAHONEY of Minoa, New York
  • DIANA MALDONADO of Syracuse, New York
  • KEVIN MALDONADO of Syracuse, New York
  • YVETTE MALDONADO of Syracuse, New York
  • ANTONIO MARTINEZ of Syracuse, New York
  • ALASHA MESSIER of Syracuse, New York
  • IRMA DIAZ ORTIZ of Syracuse, New York
  • DINA PECK of Kirkville, New York
  • CLAYTON PIEROPAN of Clay, New York
  • MICHAEL PIRAINO of Central Square, New York
  • CARLOS QUINONES of Syracuse, New York
  • JOHAN QUINONES of Syracuse, New York
  • MICHAEL RAMOS of Syracuse, New York
  • LORI RAUM of Bridgeport, New York
  • LORRIE REDINGTON of Tully, New York
  • DAVID REVETTE of Central Square, New York
  • LUIS RIVERA of Syracuse, New York
  • MIGUEL CRUZ RIVERA of Syracuse, New York
  • JOSE LOPEZ ROBLES of Syracuse, New York
  • MAGALEY ROMAN of Syracuse, New York
  • GILSANDRO ROSADO of Syracuse, New York
  • MARIO RUSSO of Syracuse, New York
  • JOSE DELGADO SANTANA of Syracuse, New York
  • JAIME SANTOS of Syracuse, New York
  • WILFREDO SANTOS of Syracuse, New York
  • SUSAN VERTICHIO SCHMIDT of Liverpool, New York
  • TOSHIRO SCOTT of Syracuse, New York
  • DANIEL SMITH of Central Square, New York
  • KYSHAUN SMITH a/k/a KYSHAUN WILLIAMS of Syracuse, New York
  • ANTHONY SPARKS of Syracuse, New York
  • MARK SPRATT of Kirkville, New York
  • CYNTHIA THOMPSON of Solvay, New York
  • JEAN TORRES of Syracuse, New York
  • LUIS UNDANETA of Syracuse, New York
  • ANGEL DIAZ VEGA of Syracuse, New York
  • LUIS CIRINO VEGA of Syracuse, New York
  • HILARY WASHO of East Syracuse, New York; and
  • JOSEPH WELLS of Minoa, New York

Several additional agencies participated in the investigation, including the Oswego County Drug Task Force, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office, Onondaga County Probation Department, Cortland County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Parole, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Solvay Police Department and Syracuse University Police.

The investigation was conducted by OCTF Investigator William Elsenbeck, OCTF Investigator Paul Pendergast, Supervising Investigator Thomas M. Wolf and Deputy Chief Eugene Black.  The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.  The New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team under the supervision of New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico, and Syracuse Police Detective Raul Santana under the supervision of Special Investigation Division Captain Timothy Gay and Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Senior Investigative Counsel James J. Mindell.  Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Organized Crime Task Force and Kelly Donovan is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Division.

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

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