News and Press Releases

Nineteen Defendants Charged with Crack Cocaine Distribution in Brooklyn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2008

Four indictments and one complaint were unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn charging nineteen defendants with conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and other narcotics related offenses.1 Late yesterday and earlier today, law enforcement officers executed arrest warrants and search warrants at ten locations in Brooklyn, and seized quantities of crack cocaine and marijuana, a loaded .22 caliber handgun, and ammunition.

The initial appearances for twelve of the defendants are scheduled to be held this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Victor V. Pohorelsky at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Division, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

As detailed in the pleadings and other documents filed by the government, the charges are the result of a two-year-long investigation conducted by the FBI and NYPD into crack distribution organizations based in the Walt Whitman and Ingersoll Houses, two New York City Housing Authority developments in the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn. During the course of the investigation, the NYPD conducted dozens of audio- and video-recorded purchases of crack cocaine from the defendants using undercover police officers.

“Public housing serves the laudable goal of enabling low-income families to live decent lives in New York City. Those who trample upon that dream by trafficking in narcotics to enrich themselves at the cost of public safety will be held accountable,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “The charges announced today mark the latest in a series of federal prosecutions focused on eliminating narcotics trafficking and illegal firearms in at-risk communities.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Mershon stated, “Public housing residents are as entitled as any other city residents to feel safe and secure in their neighborhoods. There may be comforts the wealthy can afford that others cannot, but public safety is a right, not a luxury. The FBI will continue to work hard with our partners to ensure that right.”

NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “Continued suppression of drug dealing and its attendant violence has made public housing in Fort Greene safer. Year-to-date, crime in the Whitman Houses is down 15% percent, and down 32% in the Ingersoll Houses because of operations like this one. It’s also safer because of dedicated, ongoing law enforcement attention, including the opening of an NYPD high tech satellite station at the Whitman-Ingersoll complex.”

If convicted of conspiring to distribute cocaine base, the defendants face minimum sentences of ten years and maximum sentences of life in prison, a life term of supervised release, and a $4,000,000 fine.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys James P. Loonam and Matthew M. Amatruda.

The Defendants:

ANTHONY ADAMS
Age: 20

EDWARD CANTY
Age: 20

EDWARD CARTER
Alias: “Sadat”
Age: 31

RAKEEM FIGUEROA
Alias: “Rawly”
Age: 26

RAMEL HINES
Alias: “Ra”
Age: 25

BYRON JEFFERSON
Alias: “Belly”
Age: 30

HAKEEM JOHNSON
Alias: “H”
Age: 26

RASHEEN JONES
Alias: “Easy”
Age: 22

JAMEL JORDAN
Age: 23

RICHARD LUGO
Alias: “Double R”
Age: 27

BRIAN MACEO
Alias: “Teefus”
Age: 26

KORLEY OKAI
Aliases: “Kool-Aid”
Age: 29

YOLANDA PEREZ
Age: 49

MESSIAH SOSA
Alias: “Gwuito”
Age: 20

ALSTON SPELLAR
Alias: “Cuzo”
Age: 23

MICHAEL THOMPSON
Age: 21

JAQUAN WALLACE
Alias: “Blue” and “Jon”
Age: 27

JAQUAE WEBB-THOMPSON
Alias: “Tye”
Age: 21

JARIBU WEBB-THOMPSON
Alias: “Reeboo”
Age: 29

 

 

_____________________________

1 The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



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