Operation Ghost Rider Rids Rockland County of Violent Drug Traffickers
APR 10 -- New York Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride and Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe announced the arrest of 24 individuals who were responsible for narcotics trafficking throughout Rockland County.
DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “This investigation’s success is due to united commitment of law enforcement to make our communities safe from the perils of drug abuse. From the source of supply to the drug distributors all those responsible have been brought to justice to face the consequences of their actions.”
Operation Ghost Rider began in August of 2007 and was initiated by the Rockland County Narcotics Task Force (RCNTF). Information was gleaned that led to the identification of a narcotics trafficking organization known as the “Building Three Crew”. As a response the Task Force conducted street buys and surveillances, which led to securing eavesdropping warrants.
Working together with the Rockland County Narcotics Task Force, the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) Group T-31, which is comprised of agents and officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Police Department and the New York State Police this operation led to the identification of 27 individuals responsible for cocaine distribution. Throughout the operation over 55,000 phone conversations were intercepted where the defendants were either ordering cocaine from their supplier or supplying cocaine to other individuals throughout Rockland County.
In the early morning of April 9, 2008, members of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Rockland County Narcotics Task Force, Orangetown Police Department, Clarkstown Police Department, New York State Police, New York Police Department, Rockland County Sheriffs Department, Haverstraw Police Department, Spring Valley Police Department, South Nyack Police Department, Piermont Police Department, Ramapo Police Department and Suffern Police Department effected arrest warrants for 24 of the defendants. The Office of the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor also collaborated in the investigation. Special Narcotics indicted Edward Monsanto, Angel Perez-Baez, Juan Castro and Diogenis Gonzalez on Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree subsequent to their arrest on February 18, 2008 and the seizure of 3½ kilograms of cocaine in Upper Manhattan.
As a result of this collaborative investigation, Operation Ghost Rider resulted in the indictments of 27 individuals, the seizure of 4 kilograms of heroin, 10 decks of heroin, 3 ½ kilograms of cocaine, scales and drug packaging material, a .25 Caliber Beretta handgun, $31,000 of US Currency, 5 handguns, handcuffs, bullet proof vests and ammunition.