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A.G. Schneiderman Announces Takedown Of Capital Region-Based Cocaine Trafficking Ring

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2018

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

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES TAKEDOWN OF CAPITAL REGION-BASED COCAINE TRAFFICKING RING

Multi-Agency “Operation Dirty Deeds” Results in 84-Count Indictment Charging 14 Defendants with Distributing Drugs throughout Capital Region

Operation Dirty Deeds Marks 9th Takedown Since AG Schneiderman Launched SURGE Initiative, Focused on Cracking Down on Violent Drug Traffickers in Suburban and Upstate NY – Taking 302 Traffickers Off Streets Since April 2017

SCHENECTADY - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrests of 14 individuals charged with trafficking large quantities of cocaine throughout the Capital Region. The arrests were made in connection with “Operation Dirty Deeds,” a nine-month investigation spearheaded by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) as part of Attorney General Schneiderman’s Suburban and Upstate Response to the Growing Epidemic (“S.U.R.G.E.”) Initiative – a crackdown on New York’s widening heroin, opioid, and narcotics distribution networks.

The 84-count indictment, which was unsealed today in Schenectady County Court, charges the 14 individuals with various felonies including Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class A, B, C, D felonies) and Conspiracy in the Second degree (a class B felony) in relation to their alleged involvement in the narcotics trafficking network. If convicted, the defendants will face between three years and life in prison based on individual cases.

“As we allege, this trafficking ring flooded the Capital Region with cocaine – fueling the cycle of addiction that has been ravaging communities across New York,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Through our continued collaboration with our partners in law enforcement, our SURGE Initiative is working to cut off the supply of drugs into our communities and drive traffickers out of business.”

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Due to the crucial and collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners at all levels, a major drug trafficking operation has been disrupted and multiple dangerous drug traffickers have been removed from the streets. These drugs perpetuate a cycle of addiction and criminal behavior which in turn threatens the safety and security of our neighborhoods. We will remain vigilant in keeping these criminals and these highly addictive drugs off of our streets.”

Today’s takedown – dubbed “Operation Dirty Deeds” – marks the ninth major drug bust since Attorney General Schneiderman launched his SURGE Initiative in April 2017. The SURGE Initiative is a targeted crackdown on New York’s growing – and often violent – heroin, opioid, and narcotics trafficking networks operating in upstate and suburban communities. In the past 12 months, Attorney General Schneiderman’s SURGE initiative has resulted in 302 traffickers taken off the streets throughout New York State; those traffickers have collectively been charged with over 1,400 crimes.

The trafficking network allegedly sourced its narcotics from the New York City area and mostly trafficked drugs in the Capital Region. The indictment alleges that Jevon “Dirt” Henry – a central figure in the cocaine distribution network, based in Schenectedy – purchased cocaine in bulk from a source in New York City for $31 per gram. Henry then allegedly used his girlfriend, Aisha Murray, to mule kilograms of cocaine in an effort to insulate himself from being caught possessing the cocaine in transit from New York City. Aisha Murray was stopped by investigators on December 7, 2017, in Schenectady County while allegedly transporting a kilogram of cocaine from New York City with her 12 year old son in the vehicle.

In total, over 1,200 grams (1.2 kilos) of cocaine were seized by the Attorney General’s office.

The 84-count indictment unsealed today charges the following 14 individuals with different crimes in relation to their alleged involvement in the narcotics trafficking operation, including:

Quinton Adams

47 years old

Bronx, NY

 

Quentin Bellinger

58 years old

Bronx, NY

 

Paul Greaves

35 years old

Albany, NY

 

Laquan Hart

32 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Jevon Henry

36 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

James Johnson

55 years old

Latham, NY

 

Julio Lewis

27 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Aisha Murray

32 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Hardley Pierre

28 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Raydell Robinson

37 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Duvon Royall

43 years old

Schenectady, NY

Lamar Ventura

38 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Stacey Watson

45 years old

Schenectady, NY

 

Jermaine White

29 years old

Albany, NY

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

The charges contained in the indictment are the result of a nine-month joint investigation by the Attorney General’s OCTF, the New York State Police, and the City of Saratoga Springs Police Department, with the assistance of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office, the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, and the United States Marshals Service.

The investigation was directed by New York State Police Investigator Matthew Guiry and OCTF Investigator Jeffrey Sauter, under the supervision of New York State Police Senior Investigator Samuel Mercado and with the assistance of OCTF Senior Investigator William Charles and Deputy Chief Investigator Gene Black, under the supervision of Chief Dominick Zarrella.

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Andrew McElwee, under the supervision of OCTF Deputy Bureau Chief Maria Moran. Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Organized Crime Task Force. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.

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