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03/16/2017

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49 charged in NY-area drug trafficking, robbery and firearms probe

 49 charged in NY-area drug trafficking, robbery and firearms probe
 49 charged in NY-area drug trafficking, robbery and firearms probe
 49 charged in NY-area drug trafficking, robbery and firearms probe

NEW YORK — More than four dozen members of a Bronx drug trafficking organization were arrested Wednesday following a joint operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

This combined effort led to two Indictments charging 49 members of two Bronx-based drug-distribution organizations with various narcotics, robbery and firearms offenses, including the murder of Jose Morales on Dec. 11, 2016.

“Today the law enforcement community in New York struck a serious blow to violent drug distribution organizations that operate in our city. Two such organizations allegedly flooded the community of Mount Hope in the Bronx with heroin, crack cocaine, fear and death,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “This is yet another step in our efforts to bring peace and hope to our communities by removing the alleged leadership and rank-and-file members of these organizations, putting an end to their menacing criminal conduct.”

The indictments reference members of two violent drug-trafficking organizations that operated in the 46th Precinct in the Bronx. Members sold crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, and they possessed and used firearms to further their drug trafficking activities.

“Dozens of alleged members of two drug distribution organizations have been charged with peddling potentially lethal drugs. Many are also charged with committing violent crimes, including four who allegedly murdered Jose Morales in furtherance of their drug business,” said Manhattan Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim. “All New Yorkers are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes, free from the devastating effects of drugs and the violence that can accompany drug trafficking. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to work to return the neighborhoods of the Bronx to the law-abiding people who live in them.”

Count One of Indictment S2 17 Cr. 21 (WHP), unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, charges James Felton, James Diaz, Andre Felton, Ezekiel Burley, Uriah Brown, Bradford Cannon, Willie Reeves, Harold Fields, Robert Brent, Dashaun McDonald, Matthew Torres, Tyrone Turner, Kendrick McCray, Ginger Diaz and Jose Sandoval with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Count Two charges James Felton, Diaz, Andre Felton, and Burley with the murder of Jose Morales, which occurred on December 11, 2016 in the vicinity of East 175th Street and Weeks Avenue, in the course of a narcotics conspiracy.

Count Three charges James Felton, Diaz, Andre Felton, and Burley with using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a narcotics conspiracy, resulting in the death of Jose Morales on December 11, 2016.

Count Four charges James Felton, Diaz, and Burley with using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a narcotics conspiracy, on dates other than December 11, 2016.

Count Five charges Brown, Cannon, Reeves, Fields, Brent, McDonald, Torres, Turner, McCray, Diaz, and Sandoval with using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging firearms during and in relation to a narcotics conspiracy.

Count One of Indictment S1 17 Cr. 123 (LAP), unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, charges Edwin Romero, Rafael Romero, Francis Paluzzi, Luis Gonzalez, Anibal Gonzalez, Carlos Mota, Elimanuel Diaz, Pedro Olivo, Adrian Sanchez, Daryl Simon, Jeffrey Fernandez, Juan Valdez, Willie Tucker, Kasan Noble, Damian Saunders, Daniel Jefferson, Dereck Jefferson, Wayne Scott, Eric Rivera, Michael Martinez, Maxamillion Mercado, Kareem Simmonds, Alexander Pena, Anthony Clase, Carlos Acosta, Christopher Rodriguez, Gabriel Gonzalez, Jesus Mata, Nana Owusu, Roberto Ramirez, Wilpher Rodriguez, Yawilis Rodriguez, Jesus Abad, Angel Guance with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

Count Two charges Edwin Romero, Sanchez, Valdez, Tucker, and Yawilis Rodriguez with conspiring to commit robbery.

Count Three charges Edwin Romero, Rafael Romero, Francis Paluzzi, Luis Gonzalez, Anibal Gonzalez, Carlos Mota, Elimanuel Diaz, Pedro Olivo, Adrian Sanchez, Daryl Simon, Jeffrey Fernandez, Juan Valdez, Willie Tucker, Kasan Noble, Damian Saunders, Daniel Jefferson, Dereck Jefferson, Wayne Scott, Eric Rivera, Michael Martinez, Kareem Simmonds, Alexander Pena, Anthony Clase, Carlos Acosta, Christopher Rodriguez, Gabriel Gonzalez, Jesus Mata, Nana Owusu, Roberto Ramirez, Wilpher Rodriguez, Yawilis Rodriguez, Jesus Abad, Angel Guance with using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a narcotics conspiracy.

Count Four charges Edwin Romero with using, carrying, possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The charges in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Southern District of New York Violent and Organized Crime Unit.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/16/2017