OCT 10 (NEW YORK) - Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor and Brian R. Crowell, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division Special Agent in Charge announced the conviction by jury of Robert Adrian as a major narcotic trafficker under New York State's drug kingpin statute, which carries a possible life sentence.
Adrian, 31, was convicted on all counts following a four-week jury trial before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bruce Allen. The jury found him guilty of Operating as a Major Trafficker, Conspiracy in the Second Degree and one count each of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees.
The jury also convicted a member of Adrian's narcotics organization, Miguel Adrian-Reyes, 30, on all counts he faced, including Conspiracy in the Second Degree and one count each of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees. These verdicts were delivered on Tuesday afternoon. Sentencing for Adrian has not yet been set and his next appearance in court is scheduled for Oct. 21. Sentencing for Adrian-Reyes is expected to take place on Nov. 7.
The judge declared a mistrial yesterday afternoon as to a third defendant Jose Cruz Ortiz, a.k.a. "NONO," when jurors declared they were unable to reach a verdict following nearly three days of deliberations. Ortiz was an inmate in a federal prison in Puerto Rico during the course of the conspiracy. He faces charges of Operating as a Major Trafficker, Conspiracy in the Second Degree and one count each of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees. ORTIZ remains in custody and is due back in court on Nov. 14.
On May 18, 2011, agents and officers with the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force (NYDETF) seized approximately 43 kilos (nearly 95 lbs.) of cocaine in Midtown Manhattan following a five-month wiretap investigation. Agents observed drug couriers place three duffle bags filled with narcotics inside a vehicle parked near the Hampton Inn at 51st Street and 8th Avenue. Approximately 37 kilos of cocaine were found inside the bags in the vehicle, while another six kilos were recovered from a hotel room inside the Hampton Inn. The cocaine carried a street value of approximately $1.5 million.
According to testimony, recorded phone conversations and other evidence presented at trial, between Feb. 26, 2011 and May 18, 2011 Adrian conspired to transport multiple shipments of cocaine from Puerto Rico to New York. Adrian directed a circle of drug workers in New York, who were to receive and distribute the cocaine.