Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, an indictment was unsealed charging Anthony Cyntje, a New Jersey correction officer, Anthony Leonardi, his brother Robert Leonardi, William Junior Maxwell II, who is the rap artist also known as “Fetty Wap,” Brian Sullivan, and Kavaughn Wiggins with conspiring to distribute and possess controlled substances. Five of the defendants are also charged with using firearms in connection with drug trafficking.
Sullivan was arrested on September 30, 2021, arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione, and ordered detained pending trial. Anthony Leonardi and Cyntje were arrested on October 13, 2021, arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields, and ordered detained pending trial. Robert Leonardi was arrested in Pennsylvania on October 13, 2021, arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Richard A. Lloret of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and ordered detained pending trial. Wiggins was arrested on October 27, 2021, arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Steven J. Locke, and ordered detained pending trial. Maxwell was arrested yesterday and will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Locke.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI); Timothy D. Sini, District Attorney for Suffolk County; and Stuart Cameron, Acting Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), announced the charges.
“As alleged, the defendants transported, distributed and sold more than 100 kilograms of deadly and addictive drugs, including heroin and fentanyl, on Long Island, deliberately contributing to the opioid epidemic that has devastated our communities and taken too many lives,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “We will continue to work nonstop with our law enforcement partners to keep our neighborhoods safe from the scourge of dangerous drugs and gun violence.” Mr. Peace thanked the United States Postal Inspection Service for its assistance during the investigation.
“The pipeline of drugs in this investigation ran thousands of miles from the West Coast to the communities here in our area, contributing to the addiction and overdose epidemic we have seen time and time again tear people's lives apart. The fact that we arrested a chart-topping rap artist and a corrections officer as part of the conspiracy illustrates just how vile the drug trade has become. I want to commend the work of our Long Island Gang Task Force and our law enforcement partners for working day in and day out to get these deadly drugs off our streets,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.
“These defendants ran a multimillion-dollar bicoastal drug distribution organization with Suffolk County as their home base,” stated District Attorney Sini. “They were wholesale drug dealers who pumped massive quantities of narcotics into our communities. As our investigation revealed, they would frequently use cutting agents to process just one of those kilograms of drugs into as many as four even before it was distributed to lower-level dealers, so the magnitude of this operation was enormous. Thanks to law enforcement’s efforts, this prolific supply chain has been cut off. I thank the Eastern District for partnering with my Office to prosecute these individuals and hold them accountable.”
“This is another example of law enforcement working together to take down a major drug trafficking ring that brought more than 100 kilograms of illicit narcotics to Long Island and New Jersey,” stated SCPD Acting Commissioner Cameron said. “Holding these six individuals accountable, most of whom were using firearms to protect their drugs, will have a significant impact on the drug supply in Suffolk County and will help us in our continuing effort to combat the opioid epidemic.”
As alleged in the indictment and in court proceedings, from approximately June 2019 through June 2020, the defendants distributed more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine across Long Island and New Jersey. The defendants obtained the narcotics on the West Coast and used the United States Postal Service and drivers with hidden vehicle compartments to transport the controlled substances across the country to Suffolk County, where they were stored. The drugs were then distributed to dealers who sold the controlled substances on Long Island and in New Jersey. Five of the defendants also used firearms to protect their drug organization and distribution chain. Defendants Anthony Leonardi, Robert Leonardi, Sullivan, and Wiggins participated in the purchase and transport of the narcotics from the West Coast to the East Coast where they were processed, stored, and ultimately resold. Maxwell was a kilogram-level redistributor for the trafficking organization and Cyntje transported kilograms of cocaine from Long Island to New Jersey.
Search warrants executed during the investigation resulted in the recovery of approximately $1.5 million in cash, 16 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of heroin, numerous fentanyl pills, two 9mm handguns, a rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, a .40 caliber pistol, and ammunition.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum of life imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher C. Caffarone, Andrew P. Wenzel, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jacob T. Kubetz are in charge of the prosecution.
Passaic, New Jersey
Coram, New York
Willie Junior Maxwell II (also known as “Fetty Wap”)
Paterson, New Jersey
Lake Grove, New York
Kavaughn L. Wiggins (also known as “KV”)
Coram, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-452 (JS)