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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 8, 2014

Eleven Charged In Federal Court With Cocaine Trafficking In The Bronx And Across New York State

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Janet DiFiore, the Westchester County District Attorney, Scott W. Brown, Tarrytown Police Chief on behalf of the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-In-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the arrest of 11 defendants and the unsealing of an Indictment and a Superseding Indictment charging a conspiracy to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine in and around the Bronx, across the Hudson Valley, and up to Albany, New York.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “These arrests are the product of the ongoing and unparalleled cooperation between our office and the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, and between federal and local law enforcement authorities. In particular, it is our privilege to work with District Attorney DiFiore and her team to prosecute alleged narcotics traffickers like the defendants. I want to thank our many federal and local law enforcement partners, representing villages, towns, cities and the nation all of whom coalesced to bring this case.”

Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore stated: “Law enforcement from all levels, federal, state and local, collaborated in a multi-jurisdictional effort that stretched from New York City to the Capitol District. This coordinated effort resulted in the takedown of a major narcotics trafficking operation in New York State. Our ongoing joint efforts with the United States Attorney’s office and the assistance of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in this and other prosecutions is a model of collaborative law enforcement and its results.”

Chief Scott W. Brown of the Tarrytown Police Department, speaking for the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, stated: “We are extremely proud of our officers and grateful for the assistance and cooperation of all agencies involved. The dedication and diligence of these law enforcement professionals will have a significant impact on the flow of illegal drugs in our communities.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos stated: “Today, we were able to disrupt and dismantle yet another drug trafficking organization whose primary goal was to distribute cocaine in the surrounding areas. The arrests and searches were carried out today with our law enforcement partners working side by side to make the streets safer.”

According to allegations in the Indictments unsealed today:

The Indictments charge eleven people, PHILLIP LLENAS, a/k/a “Bemba,” 39, FRANKLIN ABREU, 28, SHERMAN ALSTON, a/k/a “Sherm,” 51, VICTOR ANDRADES, a/k/a “Fat Man,” 38, JAMES FERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Burg,” a/k/a “Burger,” 32, FERNANDO GUERRERO, 31, JOSE PEREYRA, a/k/a “Nano,” 33, MENSUR RADONCIC, a/k/a “Stu,” 31, KEENAN SOTO, a/k/a “Chinito,” 25, and KARL ZARATE, 38, with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine in Westchester County, New York, Orange County, New York, Albany County, New York and the Bronx, New York. The Superseding Indictment charges ANGEL APONTE, a/k/a “A,” 34, with conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five kilogram or more of cocaine. The charge against each defendant and the corresponding maximum potential penalties are outlined in the chart attached to this press release.

All eleven of the defendants charged in the Indictments unsealed today were arrested. Ten of the defendants were presented in White Plains federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison. One defendant, ALSTON, is scheduled to be presented at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow before Judge Davison.

Contemporaneous with the arrests, state and federal law enforcement officers executed search warrants at 24 locations and upon 4 vehicles. These searches resulted in the seizure of more than $800,000 cash, more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 40 pounds of marijuana, eight firearms, several kilo presses and other drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, comprised of the police departments of the Town of Greenburgh, and the Villages of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings, Irvington, North Castle, Sleepy Hollow, and Tarrytown, the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police, the Yonkers Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York City Police Department.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gerber and Scott Hartman are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni is responsible for the forfeiture aspects of the case.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

United States v. Aponte, S1 14 Cr. 268
United States v. Llenas, et al., 14 Cr. 268
Takedown Chart

Press Release Number: 
14-139
Updated May 18, 2015