More Than 30 Indicted in Operation Targeting Kingston Drug Trafficking Organization
Six Defendants Face Firearms Charges
ALBANY, NEW YORK – A federal grand jury yesterday indicted 25 members of a Kingston-based drug trafficking organization that distributed large quantities of cocaine throughout the Hudson Valley. In addition, 6 defendants face firearms charges, 5 defendants are charged with possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and 5 defendants are charged with possessing heroin with the intent to distribute it.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York; Ulster County Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum, whose office leads the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT); and New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II.
Law enforcement officers arrested defendants this morning in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, and the defendants are being arraigned today in Albany before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart. The charges in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian stated: “Today’s arrests are the result of a major, multi-agency effort to dismantle a sophisticated drug trafficking organization that was based in Kingston, distributed drugs throughout the Hudson Valley, and had sources of supply in New York City and California. Our goal is not only to arrest drug dealers, but also to improve the quality of life in the places where they operated. The teamwork on display in this operation is integral to our efforts to preserve public safety and low-crime communities. We thank HSI, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Marshal, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”
HSI-NY Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez stated: “These gang members have operated openly with a brazen disregard for law enforcement. Today’s arrests show our collective resolve to dismantle the street gangs that are threatening our neighborhoods and return public spaces to the residents who should be free to enjoy them. HSI’s collaboration with federal, state and local partners has resulted in fewer gang members menacing the streets of Kingston and Poughkeepsie.”
Ulster County Sheriff Paul J. Van Blarcum stated: “I am very proud of the cooperation among all agencies involved in this operation. Teamwork is the only way to get things accomplished. Organized criminal activity, especially that involving illegal weapons, presents the public and law enforcement with additional challenges and concerns, and it simply cannot be tolerated. We in law enforcement will continue to use every tool at our disposal to combat the illicit narcotics trade and all types of organized criminal activity.”
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said: “This case speaks to the tremendous inter-agency coordination and cooperation necessary to get illegal drugs off our streets. As a result of this effort, a major Hudson Valley drug trafficking operation has been shut down, and drugs and weapons have been seized. I want to thank our State Police members, and our federal and local partners, for their hard work on this case. These arrests send a clear message that we will not tolerate this activity in our communities.”
In connection with this investigation, law enforcement officers have seized 20 firearms, as well as approximately 5 kilograms of cocaine, 153 grams of heroin, 90 grams of crack cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of marijuana, and 75 oxycodone pills. The following defendants are charged in a cocaine distribution conspiracy:
|Name||Age||Residence||Minimum and Maximum Penalties|
|Marcus Fisher||39||Poughkeepsie||10 years (minimum); life (maximum)|
|Romell Hearn||37||Poughkeepsie||10 years (minimum); life (maximum)|
|Recardo Langston||31||Kingston||10 years (minimum); life (maximum)|
|Jalen Allen||23||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Jonathon Jones||46||Port Ewen||10 years (minimum); life (maximum)|
|Eunice Allen||57||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Emiliano Alonso||39||Miami Beach, FL||20 years (maximum)|
|Guy Cain||34||New Windsor||20 years (maximum)|
|Jamal Clinton||39||Lake Katrine||20 years (maximum)|
|Marc Douglas||37||Highland||20 years (maximum)|
|Kevin Drake||44||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Jose Francisquini||41||Connelly||20 years (maximum)|
|Greg Hardy||42||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Mark Howard||43||Poughkeepsie||20 years (maximum)|
|Cordal Johnson||39||Beacon||20 years (maximum)|
|Phillip Keith||31||Lake Katrine||20 years (maximum)|
|Kareem McFarlane||31||Highland||20 years (maximum)|
|Robert Medley||38||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Michael Monsanto||28||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Ryan Rios||34||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Dwan Scafe||28||Poughkeepsie||20 years (maximum)|
|Dionn Spencer||28||Poughkeepsie||20 years (maximum)|
|Leonard Vandyke||41||Kingston||20 years (maximum)|
|Daniel Williams||32||Hyde Park||20 years (maximum)|
|Keshia Williams||28||Poughkeepsie||20 years (maximum)|
In this same indictment, Jalen Allen faces additional charges of possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Recardo Langston is additionally charged with 2 counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (crack and cocaine), as well as 5 counts of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
Additionally, four separate indictments charge the following defendants and crimes:
|Robert Curry||36||Poughkeepsie||Unlawful possession of firearm; possession of cocaine with intent to distribute||20 years|
|Jadon Douglas||28||Poughkeepsie||Unlawful possession of firearm; possession of cocaine with intent to distribute||20 years|
|Jeffrey Keith||25||Kingston||Unlawful possession of firearm; possession of cocaine with intent to distribute||20 years|
|Kashawn Watson||23||Kingston||Unlawful possession of firearm; possession of heroin with intent to distribute||20 years|
|Jahkeem Ryan||22||Port Ewen||Possession of heroin with intent to distribute||20 years|
|Maurice Wood||31||Kingston||Unlawful possession of firearm; possession of heroin with intent to distribute||20 years|
A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
These arrests were coordinated with an investigation in the Southern District of New York that targeted cocaine distributors operating in and around Poughkeepsie. As a result of that investigation, 15 defendants were indicted for cocaine trafficking and other crimes in an indictment also unsealed today in federal court in White Plains.
This case is being investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with URGENT; an inter-agency taskforce targeting drug dealers and gang members in Ulster County; the New York State Police; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of New York and the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Sharpe and Solomon B. Shinerock. Related cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the District Attorney’s Offices for Ulster and Dutchess Counties.