News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2009
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Forty-One Members and Associates of "Trinitarios" Criminal Organization Indicted for Drug Trafficking in Washington Heights

MAR 11 -- JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”), LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, RONALD B. TURK, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") and, RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York announced today the unsealing of an Indictment charging forty-one members or associates of the “Trinitarios” criminal organization with drug trafficking.

The Indictment stems from a two-year investigation by the NYPD, ATF and DEA into the Trinitarios. Beginning last night and continuing through this morning, approximately two hundred law enforcement officers, including members of the NYPD, ATF, and DEA, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and the United States Marshals Service for the Southern District of New York (“USMS”), have been making arrests and conducting searches in connection with the Indictment and investigation, primarily in Washington Heights and the Bronx.

As alleged in the Indictment: The Trinitarios is a criminal organization consisting primarily of individuals of Dominican descent, and their associates that operates in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York, New York, and elsewhere. The Trinitarios organization operated and controlled drug trafficking on at least four city blocks in the area of West 171 Street through West 174 Streets in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York, New York. Various defendants face charges relating to the sale of marijuana, MDA, cocaine and crack cocaine.

Members of the Trinitarios also committed acts of violence to protect and expand their drug-trafficking operation, and to protect fellow members of the organization. For example, on January 19, 2009, JONATHAN FELIZ, a/k/a “Sweet Pea,” a/k/a “Snoop,” allegedly ordered other members of the Trinitarios organization, including RUDY SANTANA a/k/a “Gordo,” to kill a rival drug dealer who had encroached on territory controlled by the Trinitarios organization. That day, SANTANA and others attempted to fulfill FELIZ’s order by firing several shots at the rival drug dealer in the vicinity of 174 Street and Audubon Avenue, New York, New York.

In total, thirty-eight defendants were charged with a marijuana-distribution conspiracy; eight defendants were charged with an MDA-distribution conspiracy; six defendants were charged with cocaine distribution, two defendants were charged with crack cocaine distribution or conspiracy, and three defendants were charged with possessing, carrying, and using firearms in furtherance of the marijuana- and MDA-distribution conspiracies, including during the shooting in the vicinity of 174 street and Audobon Avenue. A chart outlining the charges and potential penalties is attached.

Mr. DASSIN thanked the DEA, ATF and NYPD for their tireless work in this investigation, and thanked ICE and the USMS for their assistance with the case. He added that the investigation is continuing. Updated information on today’s arrests will be released later today; the arrested defendants are expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Manhattan federal court before a Magistrate Judge. Assistant United States Attorneys NOLA B. HELLER, MICHAEL D. MAIMIN, and JENNIFER E. BURNS 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.

Count Charge Defendants Potential Prison Term 1 Conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana REYNALDO MONTILLA, a/k/a “Albert Montilla,” a/k/a “Fat Al,” a/k/a “Fats,” JONATHAN FELIZ, a/k/a “Sweet Pea,” a/k/a “Snoop,” AMANTINO RAMOS, a/k/a “Sco,” ZENEN TORRES, JUAN PARADAS, a/k/a “Borracho,” a/k/a “Borrachito,” a/k/a “Johnny,” JASMINE TORO, a/k/a “Jazzy,” KALEL AGUIRRE, GIL GARRIS, a/k/a “Spec,” RUDY SANTANA, a/k/a “Gordo,” MARCO RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Black,” ELVIS RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Moses Rodriguez,” a/k/a “Moises Rodriguez,” a/k/a “Mo,” ENSO QUEZADA, a/k/a “Banana,” CHRISTOPHER GARCIA, a/k/a “Goof,” ALBERTO MONTILLA, a/k/a “Clue,” JONAS COLON, a/k/a “Shooter,” JASON PADILLA, a/k/a “Blaze,” a/k/a “J Blaze,” ARIEL JAZMIN, a/k/a “Black,” HUBERT RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Biyego,” a/k/a “BG,” OCTAVIO ORTIZ, a/k/a “AV,” YASHUA TORRES, Maximum: 40 years in prison Mandatory minimum: 5 years in prison a/k/a “Jiggy,” a/k/a “Jiggety,” a/k/a “Jigga,” EDWIN ESPINAL, a/k/a “Nerd,” JONATHAN DANIEL NARVAES, a/k/a “JD,” LUIS HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Luigi,” GABRIEL ABREU, a/k/a “Weezy,” JOHASSON GOMEZ CHONG, a/k/a “Skinny,” JOSE RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Jay Jay,” JOREL AGUIRRE, NATASHA EVERTZ, a/k/a “Tasha,” MARVIN LOPEZ, a/k/a “Joker,” WILLIAM PEREZ, a/k/a “Rico,” ALDO PEREZ, KERVIN JAQUEZ, a/k/a “Kurve,” ELVIN SARITA, a/k/a “Dre,” KELVIN COMPRES, JORDAN PENA, EDDY PENA, a/k/a “Eddie Jones,” EVER LEONZO, a/k/a “JR,” and ISAIAS LEBRON.

Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute MDA JONATHAN FELIZ, a/k/a “Sweet Pea,” a/k/a “Snoop,” AMANTINO RAMOS, a/k/a “Sco,” ELVIS RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Moses Rodriguez,” a/k/a “Moises Rodriguez,” a/k/a “Mo,” JASON PADILLA, a/k/a “Blaze,” a/k/a “J Blaze,” ARIEL JAZMIN, a/k/a “Black,” OCTAVIO ORTIZ, a/k/a “AV,” ELVIN SARITA, a/k/a “Dre,” and ARCHI GUZMAN Maximum: 20 years in prison 2 Sale of cocaine MARVIN LOPEZ, a/k/a “Joker” Maximum: 20 years in prison 3 Sale of cocaine MARVIN LOPEZ, a/k/a “Joker” Maximum: 20 years in prison 4 Sale of crack cocaine MARVIN LOPEZ, a/k/a “Joker” Maximum: 40 years in prison Mandatory minimum: 5 years in prison 5 Sale of crack cocaine MARVIN LOPEZ, a/k/a “Joker” Maximum: 40 years’ imprisonment Mandatory minimum: 5 years in prison 6 Sale of cocaine JASON PADILLA, a/k/a “Blaze,” a/k/a “J Blaze” Maximum: 20 years in prison 7 Sale of cocaine JASON PADILLA, a/k/a “Blaze,” a/k/a “J Blaze,” FERNANDO FELIZ, and MARLON FELIZ Maximum: 20 years in prison 8 Sale of cocaine WILLIAM PEREZ, a/k/a “Rico” Maximum: 20 years in prison 9 Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine JONATHAN FELIZ, a/k/a “Sweet Pea,” a/k/a “Snoop” Maximum: Life in prison Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison 10 Possessing, carrying, and using firearms in furtherance of narcotics trafficking REYNALDO MONTILLA, a/k/a “Albert Montilla,” a/k/a “Fat Al,” a/k/a “Fats,” JONATHAN FELIZ, a/k/a “Sweet Pea,” a/k/a “Snoop,” and RUDY SANTANA, a/k/a “Gordo” Maximum: Life in prison. Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison, consecutive to any other term imposed.