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Press Release

Six Defendants Arrested for Distributing Heroin in the East New York Section of Brooklyn and Elsewhere

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendants Boasted About the Quality of Their Heroin, Using Luxury Vehicles as Codes for the Drugs

Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging five defendants for their participation in a heroin distribution ring operating in the East New York section of Brooklyn and elsewhere.  A sixth defendant was arrested and charged in a complaint with possessing heroin as part of the operation.  The defendants were arrested this morning in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island and will be arraigned this afternoon before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann.

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 charges.

“As alleged in the indictment and complaint, these defendants distributed high purity heroin in our communities, with life-threatening consequences,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “With today’s arrests, their drug trafficking operation has been dismantled, and the defendants will now face justice for their crimes.”

According to the indictment, complaint and other court filings, the defendants regularly acquired kilograms of heroin to process, repackage and distribute on the streets of Brooklyn and elsewhere.  The defendants routinely tested the quality of the heroin to ensure it was sufficiently potent.  On one occasion, as captured in court-authorized messages, defendant Dino Sanchez texted co-defendant Melvin Sanabria using coded terms to indicate he had a “bentley” and a “phantom” for Sanabria.  Thereafter, in a court-authorized intercepted call, Sanabria complained that a subsequent sample Sanchez provided was inferior quality, stating, “I don’t rent hondas or acuras … around here we drive benz and lambos.” 

Earlier this morning, law enforcement executed search warrants at three of the defendants’ residences, two additional stash houses and two vehicles, and seized over four kilograms of heroin, three firearms (including one with a defaced serial number), more than $100,000 in U.S. currency and various drug paraphernalia, including over 10,000 glassine envelopes.

The charges announced today are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, the defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment and up to life imprisonment.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Keith D. Edelman is in charge of the prosecution.   

The Defendants:  

DINO SANCHEZ (also known as “Dinito”)
Age: 40
East New York, Brooklyn

Age: 47
Bayside, Queens

RALIEK BROWN (also known as “Burger”)
Age: 36
East New York, Brooklyn

MELVIN SANABRIA (also known as “Mel”)
Age: 42
East Rockaway, New York

ROGELIO VARGAS (also known as “Macho”)
Age: 43
East New York, Brooklyn

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-14 (AMD)

RAMON SANABRIA (also known as “Junior”)
Age: 48
South Ozone Park, Queens

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-MJ-36


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

Updated January 16, 2019

Drug Trafficking