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Press Release

Ten Defendants Charged With Drug Trafficking And Attempted Robbery In The Queensbridge Houses And West Virginia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, charging seven defendants for their involvement in narcotics trafficking and an attempted Hobbs Act robbery in the Queensbridge Houses located in Long Island City, NY.  Three additional defendants involved in narcotics trafficking in the Queensbridge Houses were indicted by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office and charged with felonies for selling cocaine.  Six of the defendants are under arrest.

The federal defendants’ initial appearances and arraignments are scheduled this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York.  The two state defendants’ initial appearances and arraignments are also scheduled for this afternoon in Queens County Supreme Court.

The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Richard A. Brown, District Attorney for Queens County; James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and James P. O’Neil, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).  The arrests follow a long-term investigation by the DEA and NYPD into the narcotics and related violence that has plagued the Queensbridge Houses for the last decade. 

As alleged in the indictment and other court documents filed by the government, all but one of the seven federal defendants were members of a narcotics conspiracy that trafficked in a significant amount of crack cocaine in and around the Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the United States.  Court-authorized wiretaps of telephones used by two of the defendants disclosed that during just a nine-month period, the defendants’ drug trafficking operation was responsible for the distribution of more than 280 grams of crack cocaine.  In addition, three of the defendants – Edward Carrillo, Johnnie Monroe, and a co-conspirator – trafficked more than 400 grams of fentanyl as well as quantities of oxycodone.  The distribution of the fentanyl pills by the defendants resulted in the death of a young mother in West Virginia.  The three federal defendants continued to traffic in the deadly pills even after having learned about the woman’s death, and one of the defendants went so far as to proclaim that the deadly pills would “feed up the projects.” 

Defendants Carrillo, Monroe, and a co-conspirator also are charged with an attempted armed robbery of an individual they believed to be traveling from West Virginia to New York carrying more than $100,000 in drug proceeds.  When the defendants tried to commit the robbery, the putative drug trafficker never showed up but, as one of the defendants put it, if he had appeared they “would have taken him down” with their “biscuits” – a term the defendants used to refer to firearms.      

“Today’s arrests are the latest example of the success that can be achieved through federal, state, and local law enforcement cooperation to combat violence and narcotics trafficking in our communities.  The defendants wantonly distributed large quantities of addictive narcotics into our communities, some of which proved deadly.  Even the death of a young mother did not stop their drug trafficking – but these arrests will.”  Mr. Capers thanked the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for its participation and assistance in the investigation.

Queens County District Attorney Brown stated, “This investigation is just the latest result of a coordinated law enforcement and prosecutorial anti-drug initiative that began soon after I took office more than twenty-five years ago.  Since that time, we have targeted hundreds of drug dealers operating in and around public housing developments throughout Queens and have put a significant dent in the drug trafficking which has long troubled the residents of these developments.  It is imperative that we stop those who flood our streets and lure our children into lives of crime.”

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Hunt stated, “As evident in this investigation, local drug crews are just as much a public health threat than overseas drug cartels.  As alleged, not only was this violent drug crew selling crack cocaine, oxycodone, and fentanyl from their front doors, but sending fatal doses to areas in West Virginia for resale.  Fentanyl abuse is death, and these defendants capitalized on their products’ potency fueling more addiction and death in their own community.” 

“This case is a classic example of teamwork among local, state, and federal partners in dealing with criminal activity that knows no geographical boundaries,” said Police Commissioner O'Neill.  “Illegal drugs often go hand-in-hand with violence and death.  By dealing with these issues through a well-coordinated approach, indictments like these can be successfully obtained.”

The charges announced today are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted, the federal defendants face maximum sentences of life and defendants Carrillo, Monroe, and a co-conspirator face a minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment for distributing fentanyl that resulted in death.  If convicted, the state defendants face up to nine years in prison. 

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Andrey Spektor and Lindsay K. Gerdes are in charge of the prosecution.  The state charges are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Emily F. Collins, of the Queens District Attorney’s Gang Violence and Hate Crimes Bureau. 

The Defendants:

Prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office:

TERRELL CARMICHAEL, also known as “Rell”
Age: 31
Long Island City, New York

EDWARD CARRILLO, also known as “Super Ed”
Age: 43
New York, New York

JOHNNIE MONROE, also known as “Nut”
Age: 46
Brooklyn, New York

MICHAEL YOUNG, also known as “Littles”
Age: 32
Long Island City, New York

Prosecuted by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office:

MOHAMED SALEH, also known as “Arab”
Age: 30
Long Island City, New York

SHAMAR STALLWORTH, also known as “Black”
Age: 31
Long Island City, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No.  16-CR-617 (BMC)                   


Updated December 6, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime