Press Releases

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 21 Members And Associates Of Violent Bronx Drug Trafficking Crew With Distributing Crack Cocaine And Other Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday June 14, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Wilbert L. Plummer, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Joseph Anarumo Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), and Victor W. Lessoff, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (“IRS-CID”), today announced the unsealing of an Indictment and a Complaint charging 21 members and associates of the Murder Moore Gangstas (“MMG”), a violent drug trafficking crew based in and around the Moore Houses in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, with conspiracy to distribute “crack” cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana, MDMA or “ecstasy,” and painkillers, as well as assorted firearms offenses.  In a coordinated operation last night and earlier today, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested 14 MMG members and associates in the Bronx.  One of the charged defendants was previously arrested on state charges, and six defendants are still at large.  The 15 defendants currently in custody will be presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox later today.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “With today’s arrests in the Bronx, there are 21 fewer alleged criminals infesting the streets with narcotics and using deadly firearms to support and defend their illegal trade.  Cleaning up the neighborhoods in this District so that residents can live in peace, knowing their communities and their children are safe, remains one of our top priorities.”

ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes said: “Today’s arrests dealt a significant blow to a criminal organization that allegedly peddled crack cocaine and marijuana throughout New York City communities.  The successful outcome of this investigation is exactly why HSI’s El Dorado Task Force brings together local and federal law enforcement agencies to detect and disrupt criminal factions that distribute illegal drugs contributing to the demise of our society.”

Acting DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Wilbert L. Plummer said: “This violent gang and drug trafficking organization has been dismantled and taken off the streets today to eliminate fear from the community and to keep our streets safe.  Cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana were being distributed in open air markets and through our collaborative efforts from the law enforcement community; we have arrested those responsible and put them behind bars.” 

ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Anarumo Jr. said: “ATF is committed to working alongside our law enforcement partners to impact and reduce violent crime in New York City. Today's arrests and seizures exemplify that cooperative effort to remove violent, predatory criminals from our streets.”

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “These gang members pushed illegal narcotics and used violence and intimidation to further their drug trade. I want to commend the NYPD Bronx Gang Squad and particularly the undercover detectives who at great risk to themselves took drugs, guns and ultimately these suspects off the streets.”

IRS-CID Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Victor W. Lessoff said: “As part of the El Dorado Task Force, the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division works with our law enforcement partners to accomplish a number of objectives to make life better for the citizens of the New York City–Metropolitan area.  Combating drugs and violence on our streets, using our financial investigative expertise, is one of them.”

According to the Indictment, the Complaint, and statements made today in Manhattan federal court: 

Between December 2011 and June 2012, undercover officers with the NYPD made multiple purchases of “crack cocaine” and other drugs from MMG members and associates in the Moore Houses area of the Bronx.  Investigators also had court-authorized wiretaps on some of the defendants’ phones, and intercepted them engaging in their drug business.

Defendants JUAN FERNANDEZ, RAMON MORALES, ODELL SCARBOROUGH, YEMALIA AYALA, ANGEL ALICEA, EMMANUEL MILLER, ROBERT RIVERA, EUGENE MILLER, EDWARD BROWN, LAMONT ROBINSON, JAMES MILLER, ALBERTO BAJANA, MIGUEL OTERO, BRYAN CUMMINGS, JOSE VALDEZ, DENNIS SANDERS, NATHANIEL JOHNSON, KRISTOPHER MEADE, ROLANDO MONTES, and RICKY WALKER are charged in an Indictment with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute “crack” cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana, MDMA, and oxycodone/roxycodone.  The defendants operated in and around 550 Cauldwell Avenue and 480 Concord Avenue, Bronx, New York.  FERNANDEZ, MORALES, SCARBOROUGH, EMMANUEL MILLER, EDWARD BROWN, and ROLANDO MONTES are also charged with possessing firearms in connection with their drug activity.

Defendant MELVIN CACERES is charged in a Complaint with trafficking in firearms without a license.

Earlier today, law enforcement officers searched six locations in the Moore Houses area and recovered, among other items, a rifle and a revolver and drug paraphernalia.  Agents also recovered small quantities of “crack” cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana from certain of the defendants.

*                      *                     *

Both cases have been assigned to U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman.  The 14 defendants, who were charged in the Indictment and taken into custody today, are scheduled to be arraigned by Judge Furman on June 19, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.  The six other defendants charged in the Indictment – EUGENE MILLER, JOHNSON, MONTES, OTERO, RIVERA, and VALDEZ – remain at large.  The charges against each defendant and the corresponding maximum potential penalties, as well as age and residency information are outlined in the charts attached to this press release.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of ICE HSI, the DEA, the ATF, the NYPD, and the IRS-CID.

The prosecution of these cases is being overseen by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Santosh Aravind and Ryan Poscablo are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint and the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.    

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