News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 03, 2009
Erin Mulvey
212-337-2906

New York State's Organized Crime Task Force Cuts Off Bronx-to-Upstate Cocaine Pipeline
‘Operation Re-Sale’ Leads to Indictment of 21; Seizure of Cocaine and Cash Investigation Part of AG Cuomo’s Upstate Guns, Gangs,
and Drugs Initiative

DEC 03 -- SYRACUSE, N.Y. (December 3, 2009) – JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”) and Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced narcotics trafficking and other charges have been filed against 21 individuals accused of taking part in a drug distribution network that was funneling cocaine from the Bronx to Rochester and was then re-sold in Cayuga, Ontario, Seneca, and Monroe Counties and elsewhere in New York.

According to court records, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Organized Task Force (OCTF) and the Finger Lakes Drugs Task Force dubbed, “Operation Re-Sale,” led to the seizure of more than a kilogram of cocaine with an estimated street value of $56,000 and approximately $40,000 cash, most of which was found in a secret compartment built into a Dodge Nitro operated by defendant Hamlet Florencio-Peralta.

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “This is a drug pipeline from New York City to upstate New York that has been shut down. Law enforcement has been vigilant in identifying drug suppliers and distributors who reap a profit while polluting our communities with poison. This was a collaborative effort and I would like to thank all participating agencies.”

“The breakup of this drug ring is an example of how when law enforcement entities work together, we can make our communities safer and stronger,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “The Upstate Guns, Gangs and Drugs Initiative has led to a coordinated response that sends a clear message that we will not tolerate dangerous drug dealers in our region.”

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said, “I am proud to be a part of this roundup, as it cuts off a highly organized source of cocaine that migrated from New York City into our neighborhoods. Attorney General Cuomo’s ongoing pursuit against guns, gangs and drugs in upstate communities is to be commended and I thank him and his office for coordinating today’s actions.”

Monroe County District Attorney Michael Green said, “It is always a good thing when multiple law enforcement agencies pool resources to remove bad guys from our streets. Attorney General Cuomo’s Organized Crime Task Force excels at managing such an operation, and I am proud to be a part of this bust, which removes thousands of dollars in dangerous drugs from our streets.”

According to the indictment, a substantial amount of cocaine was delivered from sources in the Bronx to Rochester then to re-sellers who would distribute it in Cayuga, Ontario, Seneca, and Monroe Counties. Wiretap evidence included in the indictment shows that the defendants would discuss their drug transactions in a cryptic and coded manner in the hope of avoiding detection. For example, when using cellular telephones the defendants allegedly would use phrases such as “tubes”, “caulk”, “silicone”, “limestone”, “putty”, “ticket(s)”, “sausages”, “guy(s) to work”, “broad(s)” to refer to cocaine and/or crack cocaine.

The112 count indictment unsealed in Cayuga County Supreme Court today charges 21 people with crimes including various Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class A,B,C,Dfelonies) and Conspiracy in the second degree (class B felony).

The indictment is the culmination of a major investigation led by Attorney General Cuomo’s OCTF and is part of his ongoing efforts to combat narcotic trafficking and other crimes through his Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative.

Since its inception in 2007, the Attorney General’s Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative has conducted a variety of operations in cooperation with local, state, and federal authorities, resulting in charges against more than 420 defendants and the seizures of over $3.4 million in drugs and cash, as well as dozens of guns.

Numerous other agencies assisted in the investigation including: Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City and Syracuse, New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, New York National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, Cayuga County Sheriff, Greater Rochester Area Narcotics Enforcement Team, and the Auburn Police Department. Attorney General Cuomo thanked and commended these agencies.

Those charged in the Cayuga County indictment are:

· Bruce Adams, 54, of Auburn
· Vladimir Arias, 32, of Rochester
· Russell Brisson, 30, of Murray
· Jeffrey Compo, 48, of Seneca Falls
· Thomas Coomber, 45, of Auburn
· Jason Ellis, 29, of Rochester
· Wilfredo Figueroa, 31, of Rochester
· Hamlet Florencio-Peralta, 36, of Yonkers
· Mark Fuhry, 23, of Rochester
· Matthew Fuhry, 28, of Rochester
· Alexander Goris, 37, of Bronx
· Joshua Groat, 25, of Rochester
· Lance Gummerson, 54, of Auburn
· Douglas Hadcock, 38, of Weedsport
· Daniel Kotyk, 57, of Seneca Falls
· Thomas Lipiska, 54, of Auburn
· Felipe Mercedes, 52, of Bronx and Ellenville
· Richard Schram, 45, of Auburn
· Richard Sliski, 55, of Seneca Falls
· Timothy Smith, 51, of Auburn
· Brigido Torres-Feliciano, 33, of Bronx, Paterson NJ, and Campbell OH

The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Maria Moran under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Robin L. Baker, and OCTF First Assistant Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff. The investigation was handled by Supervising Investigator Ronald Vincent operating under the supervision of Chief Thomas Mullen and Sergeant Roger Anthony of the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force.

The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.