News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2009
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Niagara Falls Residents Arrested on Federal and State Drug Trafficking Charges

MAR 12 -- BUFFALO, NY - JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”), KATHLEEN M. MEHLTRETTER, Acting United States Attorney Western District of New York MICHAEL VIOLANTE District Attorney, JOHN C. CHELLA, Niagara Falls Police and RONALD B. TURK, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF") jointly announce that commencing the arrests of 24 drug traffickers in the Niagara Falls, NY area.

DEA Special Agent in Charge GILBRIDE stated, “In the 1980’s we witnessed the trail of destruction left behind by the emergence of crack cocaine. Law enforcement made great strides decreasing the supply of this deadly drug. Today’s arrests prove that we are still identifying and arresting those crack distributors who remain hidden, responsible for spreading this poison to the community. The citizens of Niagara Falls can rest assured that due to today’s arrests they will no longer walk in fear from this violent crack cocaine distribution organization.”

At 6:00 this morning, Niagara Falls police officers, and DEA and ATF agents, assisted by New York State Police officers, deputies from the Niagara County Sheriffs Department, the United States Marshal’s Violent Felony Warrant Task Force, New State Parole Officers, Town of Tonawanda, Amherst, and Hamburg Police officers, Buffalo Police Officers, and deputies from the Erie, Chatauqua, Orleans and Cattaraugus County Sheriffs Departments began the arrests of 24 Niagara Falls men on federal and state narcotics trafficking charges. In addition, the officers executed twelve (12) search warrants in the City of Niagara Falls. Although, the evidence seized in these search warrants has not yet been fully inventoried, the officers seized substantial quantities of crack cocaine, currency, numerous items of drug paraphernalia and drug records. The seized items will be analyzed to determine if additional charges should be brought against any of the individuals arrested, or if additional individuals should be charged.

Included in this release is a listing of the individuals charged and arrested, their ages, the charges against each (and the maximum penalty each defendant is facing) and the locations the officers either searched or are in the process of searching.

Those arrested are currently being processed through the courts. Several of those arrested on federal charges have prior drug 2 convictions and thus face enhanced sentences in federal court upon conviction. In addition to the drug charges on the attached list, Kurtel Walker, 21, of Niagara Falls was also arrested for possessing and selling a sawed-off shotgun and Steffon Dickerson, 19, was also charged- by indictment with possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, but was already in the custody of the New York State Division of Corrections. Dickerson will be brought from state custody in the next few days for arraignment.

These arrests and searches are the culmination of a nearly yearlong joint investigation by the DEA, ATF and the Narcotics Division of the Niagara Falls which focused on the sale of crack cocaine by persons identifying themselves as “Bloods" or associates of "Bloods". The New York State Police also assisted by providing an officer from the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team ("CNET") to work in an undercover capacity. The use of gang colors (red), signs and hand signals were observed by law enforcement on the streets of Niagra F alls during the course of the investigation and on various My Space accounts that related to some of the arrested defendants.

Niagara Falls Police Department Superintendent Chella stated that, based on the scope of the associations of those arrested and their criminal past, these arrests will have an instant impact on not only the drug trafficking market but the incidents of violent and gun-related crime in Niagara Falls. "I would like to thank all those agencies that participated in not only securing the indictments and search warrants, but helped in their execution. As the Superintendent of Police, I am very pleased with the results today and anticipate the streets of Niagara Falls being safer in the immediate future.” Superintendent Chella further stated that the investigation was commenced after officers from his department noticed individuals in several high crime neighborhoods wearing paraphernalia (red hats, red clothing, and red bandanas hanging from belt loops) associated with the Bloods, a gang that has its roots in Southern California. These individuals were observed by Niagara Falls Police Officers associating with suspected crack cocaine traffickers and these same individuals were suspected of selling crack cocaine through the network the gang had established,

Acting U.S. Attorney Mehltretter stated this investigation and today’s actions by law enforcement are yet another example of the joint effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement to remove persons involved in narcotics and in the trafficking of illegal firearms in our communities.

District Attorney Violante stated that today’s arrests are the result of a joint effort of local and federal law enforcement agencies. This investigation proves, once again, the commitment of city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to send the message this community will not tolerate gang activities, including drug trafficking and gun possession.

The cases brought in federal court are being prosecuted by supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, J r. and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy J. Lynch, Charles B. Wydysh and Anthony M. Bruce. The cases brought in Niagara County are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Susan B. Bjornholm and Peter M. Wydysh. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Defendants Charged and Locations Searched March 12, 2009

FEDERAL COMPLAINTS

DeMario Chandler, 22 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

Robert Cox, 18 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

Anthony Bones 21 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

Tyrome Elder 23 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 -40 years

Javon Ellison 19 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

Joshua Figueras 24 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 - life

Marcus Mathis 32 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 - life

Michael Maye 24 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 20 years

Sean Mclver 30 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

Michael Rolie 46 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 - life

Jamar Shipp 19 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

FEDERAL lNDlCTMENTS

Antwone Chapman 28 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 20 - life

Stefion Dickerson 20 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 – life

Edward "Ned" Parmer 30 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 – life

Jake Seright 29 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 - life

Jason Seright 35 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 10 - life

John Smith 24 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution, possible sentence of 5 - 40 years

Mark Smith 44 years old, charged with Possession with intent to distribute; distribution 10, possible sentence of life

Kurtel Walker 20 years old, charged with Possession and sale of sawed-off shotgun up to 10 years

STATE INDICTMENTS

Marco Gray 28 years old, charged with Crim. sale controlled sub. 3rd; Crim. poss. controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 19 years each count

Wiibert Henderson 54 years old, charged with Crim. sale controiled sub. 3rd; Crim. poss. controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 1 - 9 years

Sargent Palmer 54 years old, charged with Crim. sale controlled sub. 3rd; Crim. poss. controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 19 years each count S

Lavon Parks 18 years old, charged with Crim. saie controlled sub. 3rd; Crim. poss. controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 19 years

Emanuel Rogers 27 years old, charged with Crim. sale controlled sub. 3rd; Crim. poss. controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 3 1/2 - 12 years IL

Antwan Rose 24 years old, charged with Crim. sale controlled sub. 3rd; Crim. poss. controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 19 years ;

Lawrence Smith years old, charged with 20 Crim. Poss. of Weapon 3rd; Crim. Poss. Controlled sub. 7th, possible sentence of 2 1/3 - 7 years.

State and Federal Search Warrants in Niagara Falls
518 1/2 6th St.
463 3rd St. Apt 3
442 9th St., Apt 1
535 4th St. lower
1218 13th St.
763 8th St. 1st floor
413 18th St. Upper Floor
617 15th St. upper 2641
25th St., First Floor 489 22nd St.
901 Cedar Ave., Apt. 1205 2210
24th St. 1512 Ashland Ave. A `
1151 Garden Ave. 3333 Royal Ave.