Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Wilbert L. Plummer, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Joseph A. D’Amico, the Superintendent of the New York State Police, Ramon Bethencourt, the Chief of the Middletown Police Department, Frank Phillips, the Orange County District Attorney, and Carl E. DuBois, the Orange County Sheriff, today announced federal narcotics charges against 33 members of a drug trafficking ring operating in and around Middletown, New York. The ring was led by QUIANE WILLIAMS, CURTIS MACK, and STEPHONE HERRING, who were, along with many other defendants charged today, members of the Bloods, a nationwide gang. WILLIAMS and another defendant, JOSHUA MARTIN, are also charged with firearms-related offenses.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Drug dealing and gang violence shatter the quality of life in a neighborhood—residents are hesitant to leave their homes, children are afraid to play in the streets, and every corner has the potential for lethal violence. We refuse to stand by and let these purveyors of poison destroy our communities, and today’s charges are the latest manifestation of our commitment to rid our street of these dangerous influences. I commend the dedication and teamwork of our federal and state law enforcement partners in our ongoing effort to clean up the Southern District.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “Today’s arrests are the result of the kind of teamwork that has proven essential in making real headway against gangs in the Hudson Valley. The 9 Trey Bloods and their drug trafficking have been a detriment to the quality of life in Middletown. The work of the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force and our partners will continue in earnest, with the goal being the safety and security of all of our communities.”
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Wilbert L. Plummer stated: “DEA works with our law enforcement counterparts to identify and arrest those distributing illegal drugs throughout our communities. Our goal is to keep our streets safe from drug abuse and the violence associated. The 9 Trey gang has been taken down and will no longer be distributing heroin and crack in the Middletown area. I would like to acknowledge the work of all the law enforcement entities that participated in this investigation.”
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico stated: “The problems associated with the proliferation of illicit drugs in our communities is compounded by the levels of gun- and drug-related violence that are committed by gang members looking to control the narcotics trade. These criminals have no regard for the safety of the community. This case, investigated with our law enforcement partners over a period of several years, has resulted in the arrest of a large number of violent offenders within these gangs. This case will significantly impact the ability of organized gangs to profit from the sale of narcotics in the Orange County area, and will keep them out of our communities for the foreseeable future.”
Middletown Police Chief Ramon Bethencourt stated: “As a result of this investigation, numerous individuals have been arrested and charged with serious offenses which serve to diminish the quality of life for the Middletown community. Both Mayor Joseph DeStefano and I are hopeful and confident that this investigation will lead to a reduction in crime and make Middletown a better, safer place to live.”
Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips stated: “This operation is another example of the successful partnership forged between federal, state, and local law enforcement as well as that between the Orange County DA and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The gang members arrested today use violence to terrorize the community while engaged in the drug trade. New York State ‘drug law reform’ has essentially eliminated the ability of police and prosecutors to dismantle these criminal enterprises, and the federal commitment has helped tremendously to reduce the level of drug gang violence. We are fortunate to have a U.S. Attorney who is as committed to cleaning up the streets of Orange County as he is to cleaning up Wall Street.”
Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois stated: “My office remains committed to partnering with the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, with an emphasis on the Sheriff’s Office Gang Intelligence Unit, which is one of the largest repositories of gang intelligence files in the region. Compiling and sharing this information with other law enforcement agencies, especially the FBI, is a critical component in past, present, and future enforcement efforts.”
The following allegations are based on the indictment that was unsealed today in White Plains federal court:
WILLIAMS, MACK, HERRING, and a number of their associates were members of a sub-group of the Bloods, known as “9 Trey.”
From January 2010 through February 2010, WILLIAMS, MACK, and HERRING coordinated the drug-trafficking activities of the ring, which was known as the “Middletown Organization.” They obtained heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana from a variety of suppliers, including WILFREDO GONZALES, MICHAEL GILES, ANTHONY WEBB, KEVIN WILLIAMS, and RASUN KING. After obtaining the drugs, WILLIAMS, MACK, and HERRING supplied the drugs to 21 associates who were part of the Organization’s distribution network. Members of the distribution network also obtained narcotics from HENRY BRINSON, MAURICE COLON, and HECTOR BATISTA. Associates who were members of the distribution network include: JEREMY SCOTT ALLEN, CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON, VICTOR BURNS, LOREN DWYER, TAYSHAWN FIELDS, RAVEN FUENTES, MATTHEW GARCIA, VICTOR GONZALEZ, ZAKIYYAH HOULKER, BRUCE JACKSON, JEROME JACKSON, DUANE KIRBY, LUIS LIMA, JOSHUA MARTIN, DANIEL MISCHIYEV, KENNETH ORTIZ, JACQUELINE RICCI, JORGE SERRANO, JEFFREY SPANGENBURG, CLAUDIS WILSON, and MICHAEL WRIGHT.
Members of the Middletown Organization periodically moved the locations at which they stored and distributed drugs in order, among other reasons, to avoid detection by law enforcement. Members of the Middletown Organization engaged in a violent assault outside a diner in Middletown that resulted in the violent stabbing by MACK of RASUN KING, a defendant, multiple times. They also maintained firearms in order to protect the operation’s narcotics and drug proceeds. QUIANE WILLIAMS, who was previously convicted of a felony, is charged with possessing ammunition, specifically two boxes of Lawman 9 mm Luger ammunition. MARTIN, who was also previously convicted of a felony, is charged with possessing a firearm, specifically a .38 caliber Amadeo Rossi revolver.
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Beginning this morning, federal and local law enforcement officers have been making arrests and conducting searches in connection with the Indictment and investigation, primarily in Middletown, New York. Twenty-six of the defendants have been arrested, and seven remain at large. In affecting today’s arrests, law enforcement authorities seized two firearms—a .22 caliber Junior Colt semi-automatic handgun and a .22 caliber H&R revolver, over 100 rounds of ammunition—including .22 caliber rounds, 9 mm rounds, shotgun rounds, and a magazine as well as $6,840 in cash.
The arrested defendants are expected to be arraigned this afternoon in White Plains federal court before a magistrate judge. All of the defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin, 280 grams and more of crack cocaine, and cocaine and marijuana. If convicted, all of the defendants face a maximum sentence of life and mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. On the firearms charges, QUIANE WILLIAMS and JOSHUA MARTIN each face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force—which consists of members from the FBI, DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration Customs Enforcement, United States Marshals Service; New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; Bureau of Prisons, New York State Police Troop F; New York State Police CNET; City of Newburgh Police Department; City of Middletown Police Department; City of Poughkeepsie Police Department; Orange County Sheriff’s Office; Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office; Beacon Police Department; Village of Monticello Police Department; Port Jervis Police Department; Town of Wallkill Police Department; and Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan County District Attorney’s Offices. Mr. Bharara added that the investigation is continuing.
This case is being handled by the White Plains Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcia Cohen and Rebecca Mermelstein are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.