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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

15 Defendants Arrested For Trafficking Heroin, Fentanyl And Crystal Methamphetamine In Brooklyn And California

10 Face Federal Charges, and 5 Face State Charges as U.S. and Local Authorities Dismantle Opioid and Crystal Meth Drug Ring

Earlier today, 13 defendants were arrested in Brooklyn, New York and two were arrested in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in a coordinated federal and state takedown of a large-scale opioid and crystal methamphetamine distribution ring.  Eight federal defendants are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr., at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.  The two defendants arrested in Pennsylvania will make their initial appearance later today in federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for removal proceedings to the Eastern District of New York.  Two additional federal defendants remain fugitives.  Five defendants were arrested on related drug trafficking charges by the New York City Police Department, and they will be arraigned on state charges this afternoon in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

The charges were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Eric Gonzalez, Acting District Attorney, Kings County District Attorney’s Office (KCDA), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).

As alleged in the complaint, the defendants were members of a large-scale drug distribution operation in Brooklyn.  Between at least September 2016 and July 2017, the defendants regularly transported, repackaged and distributed heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription pills, which they referred to in coded language such as “doggy food.”  On at least two occasions, members of the conspiracy also sold pure fentanyl, which they represented to the buyer as potent heroin.  The conspiracy involved the distribution of over 100 grams of heroin.  Co-conspirators also distributed at least 50 grams of crystal methamphetamine, which they shipped from California to Brooklyn for sale.

“As alleged, the defendants trafficked in dangerous narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl and crystal methamphetamine to line their pockets with cash, despite the potentially lethal consequences to those using the drugs and to our community at large,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde.  “This Office and our partners at the FBI and NYPD will continue to investigate and prosecute those who contribute to the tragic opioid crisis by trafficking these deadly drugs.”

“The details laid out in this case prove dealers pushing their wares aren’t honest about what they’re selling to an unsuspecting public,” stated Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Pure fentanyl and drugs laced with the drug have proven deadly in hundreds of cases all over the country. Users buying the drugs are playing a dangerous game of chance with their lives because they don’t know what they’re putting in their bodies. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are aggressively targeting pushers and their supply chains to stop the epidemic wreaking havoc in communities all over our area.”

“These defendants allegedly peddled heroin on the streets of Brooklyn, concerned only with their lucrative profits, despite the devastation they cause in the communities where they operate,” said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez. “I am committed to continuing to fight this scourge and work with our federal law enforcement partners to do so.”

“The defendants in this case are accused of operating a large-scale drug operation that distributed heroin, fentanyl and other deadly drugs in Brooklyn,” said Police Commissioner O’Neill. “While the opioid crisis cannot be solved with arrests alone, the NYPD remains committed to holding accountable those who engage in the trade in deadly drugs, ensuring they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I commend the local and federal authorities who collectively brought this case to its successful outcome.”

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

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer M. Sasso is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

 

TIMOTHY GREENE

Age: 44

Brooklyn, New York

 

MATTHEW GREENE

Age: 23  

Brooklyn, New York

 

SAMUEL LIRIANO

Age: 33

Brooklyn, New York

 

CARLOS BERMUDEZ, also known as “Carlito”

Age: 55

Brooklyn, New York

 

TANIA AGUILAR

Age: 41

Brooklyn, New York

 

DONALD LNU, also known as “Dot”

Brooklyn, New York

 

FNU LNU #2, also known as “Ray Banger”

Brooklyn, New York

 

PALAYOTIS LAMPRINOS, also known as “Peter”

Age: 30

Brooklyn, New York

 

KYLE SAMMUT

Age: 30

Brooklyn, New York

 

GEORGE ECONOMOS

Age: 52

Brooklyn, New York

 

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-M-735

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated August 22, 2017