11 Arrests in Crack Cocaine Distribution Ring
JUN 12 -- Saratoga Springs, NY - JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”) announced a six-month drug investigation involving multiple area police agencies that arrested the final suspect associated with a drug ring police believe was responsible for distributing crack cocaine in Saratoga and Warren Counties over the past year. Agencies involved in the investigation included the DEA Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, Saratoga Springs Police Department, New York State Police- Wilton, New York State Police CNET-Capital, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshall’s Service.
Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride, “These arrests are evidence of law enforcement’s unique commitment to collaborate resources in order to weed out drug traffickers and make our communities safe from drug and the violence involved.”
Approximately six months ago, law enforcement from three different agencies realized that they each had separately identified a group of individuals loosely associated with one another that were dealing crack cocaine in northern Saratoga and Southern Warren Counties. The investigating departments came together at the DEA- Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force offices in Albany and began a coordinated effort to disrupt the activities of this group.
The investigation indicated that members of the group would travel to the New York City area to purchase bulk quantities of cocaine utilizing female couriers to deliver the cocaine to the Saratoga and Warren County areas. The cocaine would be processed, or “cooked”, at various local locations into crack cocaine before being packaged for street level sale by members of the group. Typically the crack cocaine was broken down into gram or smaller quantities and was being sold for $50 to $100 per rock of crack cocaine. The sales would take place in area motels and local residences as well as in public areas such as parking lots. Certain members of the group were suspected of committing robberies of rival drug dealers in the area during the past year.
The investigation resulted in the arrest of 11 individuals on various drug sale and possession felonies and one robbery investigation conducted by NYSP-Wilton BCI. The investigation resulted in the execution of four search warrants, three in the City of Saratoga Springs and one in Northumberland with several ounces of crack cocaine being recovered.
The first arrests came in February 2009 when NYSP-Wilton BCI investigators arrested DAVID GARCIA and KATIE BARTON on robbery charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery at a motel in the Town of Moreau. Shortly thereafter the first arrests on drug charges were made on sealed Grand Jury Indictments out of Saratoga County Court. Each arrest resulted in additional information being revealed and additional suspects were identified. The investigation continued with arrest and search warrants being executed throughout the early months of 2009. The United States Marshals Service became involved in the investigation by assisting local police in executing the final two arrest warrants associated with this investigation. JAMES ROCHE was located in New York City by US Marshals and ROSE MASRIE RIVERA was also located by US Marshals and arrested on Tuesday at a motel in the Town of Wilton.
The following individuals were arrested as part of this investigation along with the most serious charges each faces:
CHRISTIAN MALDANADO (28) 1095 University Ave, Bronx NY- One count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (CSCS 3rd) a class B felony.