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A.G. Schneiderman Announces 55 Guilty Pleas Following Operation Gravy Train In St. Lawrence County

 News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman
 

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES 55 GUILTY PLEAS FOLLOWING OPERATION GRAVY TRAIN IN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY

Operation Gravy Train Indicted 106 Individuals Involved With Two Major Drug Trafficking Rings In St. Lawrence County

Pleas Are Latest In AG’s SURGE Initiative To Crackdown On Suburban & Upstate Traffickers – Part Of Multi-Faceted Approach To Tackling The Opioid Epidemic

WATERTOWN—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced 55 guilty pleas resulting from Operation Gravy Train, which busted two major drug distribution networks that transported heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine to St. Lawrence County.  Operation Gravy Train was spearheaded by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force through the office’s Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic (“S.U.R.G.E.”) Initiative—a crackdown on New York’s growing heroin, opioid, and narcotics trafficking networks, part of a multi-faceted approach to tackling the drug epidemic.

Between Thursday September 14 and Friday September 15 alone, over 10 Gravy Train defendants pleaded guilty in front of the Honorable Jerome Richards in St. Lawrence County Court.

“Our SURGE Initiative is a key part of our multipronged approach to tackling the opioid epidemic in the communities that have been hit hardest – stopping the supply of drugs before they make their way onto our streets,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “By working in close partnership with local enforcement, we have been able to take hundreds of dangerous traffickers off the streets. We’re committed to bringing our state’s most effective law enforcement resources to bear in the fight against this growing epidemic.”

The sentencing details of the defendants are:

  • Rasue Barnett: Will be sentenced on October 19 to 3-1/2 years in prison
  • Michael Berry: Will be sentenced on November 2 to 8 years in prison and 5 years post-release supervision              
  • Francis Burdick: Will be sentenced on November 3 to 5 years in prison and 5 years post-release supervision             
  • Raul Byrd: Sentenced on September 14 to 4 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision              
  • Dandre Gatson: Will be sentenced on January 11, 2018 to 4 to 8 years in prison                                       
  • Jason Henriques: Will be sentenced on November 3 to 1-1/2 to 3 years to run consecutive with an additional 1-1/2 to 3 years.  
  • Jared Johnston: Will be sentenced on November 30 to 1 to 3 years in prison                                              
  • Christopher Kocienski: Will be sentenced on October 20 to 5 years in prison and 2 years post-release supervision             
  • Christopher Larose: Will be sentenced on November 30 to 4 years in prison and 2 years post-release supervision                         
  • Kevin Lockenwitz: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 3 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision                         
  • Gary Lee Loffler: Will be sentenced on November 30 to 5 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision             
  • Jose Marte: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 6 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision              
  • Jonathan Martinez-Caballero: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 6 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision                         
  • Matthew McGrath: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 3-1/2 years in prison and 2 years post-release supervision                                        
  • Travis O’Neill: Will be sentenced on November 2 to 8 years in prison and 5 years post-release supervision              
  • Allen Oshier: Will be sentenced on November 3 to 3 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision 
  • Darren St. Germain: Sentenced on September 15 to 1-1/2 years in prison and 2 years post-release supervision                            
  • Joshua Seidel: Sentenced on September 7 to 1-1/2 years in prison and 1 year post-release supervision
  • Lydell Washington: Will be sentenced on November 30 to 2-4 years in prison       
  • Justin Whitmarsh: Sentenced on September 7 to 3 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision              
  • Jessie Young: Sentenced on September 7 to 3 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision
  • Heather Amarel: Will be sentenced on November 30 to 6 months-1 year in jail
  • Sarah Ashley: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 1 year in prison and 1 year post-release supervision
  • Jennifer Kerr: Will be sentenced on November 2 to a 5 years’ probation
  • Robert Kerwin: Will be sentenced on November 2 to 5 years’ probation
  • Caisey Jo Lamotte: Will be sentenced on November 3 to 1 year in jail      
  • Bobbie Jo LaRock: Sentenced on September 15 to 5 years’ probation
  • Jennifer Larue: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 5 years’ probation
  • Kimberly Larue: Will be sentenced on August 31, 2018 to 5 years’ probation
  • Tyler McGregor: Sentenced on September 14 to 5 years’ probation
  • Mariano Patterson: Sentenced on September 15 to 2 years in prison and 2 years post-release supervision  
  • Shane Perkins: Will be sentenced on November 30 5 years’ probation
  • Alyssia Petrie: Will be sentenced on November 2 to probation
  • Dale Pryce: Will be sentenced on November 2 to 6 months in jail and 5 years post-release supervision
  • Francine Sokolowski: Will be sentenced on October 20 to probation
  • Casey Jo West: Will be sentenced on November 30 to probation
  • Mark Willard: Will be sentenced on November 3 to 5 years’ probation       
  • Robert Baker: Will be sentenced on November 2 to 5 years’ probation
  • Adam Baxter: Sentenced on September 14 to 5 years’ probation
  • Chase Baxter: Will be sentenced on October 19 to 5 years’ probation                               
  • Olivia Bender: Judge will be determine sentencing on November
  • Amy Bennett: Will be sentenced on October 19 to 5 years’ probation
  • Jamie Bonanno: Will be sentenced on October 19 to 5 years’ probation
  • Brandon Bylow: Sentenced on September 15 to 4 months in jail and 5 years’ probation
  • Kayla Fletcher: Sentenced on September 7 to 5 years’ probation
  • Jamie Gaines: Will be sentenced on November 3 to 6 months in jail and 5 years’ post-release supervision
  • Samantha Griffin: Will be sentenced on January 11, 2018 to 1 year in prison and 1 year post-release supervision
  • Sharon Gushlaw: Sentenced to be determined on November 30
  • Gregory James: Will be sentenced on November 30 to probation
  • Mark Green: Sentenced on September 7 to 5 years’ probation
  • Charles Ayotte: Judge will determine sentencing on November 30
  • Barry Crayford: Will be sentenced on December 7 to 8 years in prison and 3 years post-release supervision
  • Jose Marcano: Will be sentenced on December 1 to 5 years’ probation
  • Ciera Smith: Will be sentenced on October 19 to 6 months in jail and 5 years’ probation
  • Katie Davison: Judge will determine sentencing on December 1      

The Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) has now taken down 25 large drug trafficking gangs, made more than 580 felony narcotics arrests, and seized more than $1.5 million and more than 2,000 pounds of illegal drugs since 2011.

In the past several months alone, Attorney General Schneiderman’s SURGE initiative has resulted in 260 alleged traffickers and dealers taken off the streets across New York, through Operation BricktownOperation Un-WiseOperation Gravy TrainOperation BloodsportOperation Pipeline, and Operation Wrecking Ball.

Since 2010, Attorney General Schneiderman has launched a multi-pronged strategy to tackle New York's constantly evolving heroin and opioid epidemic, including settlements with health insurers to remove barriers to treatment and enforce Mental Health Parity Laws; the I-STOP system, which has successfully reduced “doctor shopping” by 90%; the Community Overdose Prevention program, equipping law enforcement with naloxone; and more.

The investigation was conducted by St. Lawrence County Detective Arthur Shattuck and OCTF Special Investigator Paul Pendergast, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Thomas M. Wolf and Deputy Chief Eugene Black.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Senior Investigative Counsel James J. Mindell, under the supervision of OCTF Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff.

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