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Press Release

Leader of Large-Scale Brooklyn Drug Trafficking Operation Sentenced to Nine Years’ Imprisonment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant is the Last of 10 Conspirators Sentenced for Distributing Cocaine at Cypress Hills Houses

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Tyriek Hankins was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment by United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly for his role in a cocaine and crack distribution conspiracy operating in and around the Cypress Hills Houses (“Cypress”), a large New York City Housing Authority complex located in East New York.  Hankins pleaded guilty on April 20, 2017 to conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.  He was the last of the 10 defendants in this case to be sentenced.   

Richard P. Donoghue, 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), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence. 

“By supplying large amounts of cocaine to distributors, Hankins and his co-conspirators contributed to the destructive impact that drug abuse has had on their own community in Brooklyn,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office is committed to dismantling drug organizations that endanger our community and the residents of public housing.” 

“Hankins and his co-conspirators had major influence over the deadly cycle of drugs, circulating cocaine and crack throughout the Cypress Hills Houses,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “As illustrated by both the current and previous investigations, the FBI NY Metro Safe Streets Task Force will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to rid our communities of the gang and drug-related threats.”

 “In close collaboration with our federal partners at the FBI and the Eastern District, the NYPD will remain relentless in our precise targeting of gangs and crews and the illegal behavior they engage in, in all of our neighborhoods,” stated NYPD Police Commissioner O’Neill.  “It remains our duty to dismantle criminal enterprises like this one as we keep striving to make the safest large city in the nation even safer.”

As alleged in public documents and presented at hearings, Cypress had long been plagued by gang and drug-related violence.  In response to the criminal activity, the FBI, the NYPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation that revealed Hankins was at the center of a large-scale drug trafficking operation, which sold cocaine and other drugs in Cypress, upstate New York and in Maine.  Hankins and co-conspirators Anthony Brown and Isiah Sadler were suppliers of powder cocaine to mid-level distributors.  Other co-conspirators cooked and sold that cocaine as crack.  Brown, who pleaded guilty to charges in three separate federal cases for his role in heroin- and cocaine-trafficking, and Sadler, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, were previously sentenced to, respectively, 192 months and 168 months’ imprisonment.

Hankins’ co-defendants also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and were sentenced as follows:  Anthony Keitt, to 36 months’ imprisonment; Michael Vailes, to 78 months’ imprisonment; Renee Belardo, to probation; Cherena Swain, to probation; Rafael Perez, to 41 months’ imprisonment; Ronald Jackson, to 70 months’ imprisonment; and Dimas Perez, to 60 months’ imprisonment. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Margaret Gandy, Andrey Spektor and David Gopstein are in charge of the prosecution. 

Defendant Sentenced Today:

Age:  31
Brooklyn, New York

Defendants Previously Sentenced:

Age:  32
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  34
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  39
Utica, New York

Age:  38
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  40
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  52
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  33
Brooklyn, New York 

Age:  31
Brooklyn, New York

Age:  31
Brooklyn, New York 

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-297 (AMD)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated June 25, 2018

Project Safe Neighborhoods