News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2008
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Cocaine Distribution Ring Knocked Out in New York and Puerto Rico

JUL 18 -- New York Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-In-Charge John P. Gilbride and New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan, announced the dismantling of a cocaine distribution organization based in New York City . During the past two days, members of the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force" (Strike Force) arrested 12 individuals, including a professional welterweight boxer from Harlem.

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “ The arrests show the determination of our law enforcement officials, who not only identified the cocaine distributors, but also identified the source of the supply and shut it down. This organization abused the US Postal Service and used packages to smuggle illicit goods into our country. This shows the lengths drug distribution organizations will go to in order to achieve their goal, but they will not be successful, and will face the consequences of their actions, as today’s arrests demonstrate.”

This one year investigation focused on a cocaine distribution organization which smuggled kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to the New York area to be distributed in Manhattan , Harlem and Queens . The cocaine shipments were concealed in packages sent from Puerto Rico to addresses in Manhattan, the Bronx and Harlem.

In November of 2007 arrests were made and one kilogram of cocaine seized which led to the furtherance of the investigation and the identification of other coconspirators. This investigation was named “Operation Special Delivery” and resulted in the arrests of 12 individuals as well as kilogram quantities of cocaine and $450,000 USC being seized.

Angel Colon, the main target of the investigation, was apprehended by the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force (Strike Force) which is composed of agents and officers from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department, the United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, the United States Marshals Service, the United States Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Other offices that assisted with this investigation include: the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, the United States Postal Service, the United States Secret Service, New Jersey Law Enforcement Authorities, Customs and Border Protection Canine Unit, DEA’s Carribean Division and Special Operation Division. This case is being prosecuted by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor.

The Strike Force is partially funded by the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which is a federally funded crime fighting initiative.

DEFENDANTS

Edgar Santana- Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Angel Colon - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Thomas Caraballo- Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Jose Jorge – Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Calixto Melendez-Martinez - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Misael Sanchez - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Jorge Abad - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Francisco Maldonado - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Juan Flores - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Rogelio Santiago- Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

Jose Pilar Nieves - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

J.D. Junior - Charges Conspiracy 2 nd Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 1 st Degree

The charges contained in the relevant Indictments are merely accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.