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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Eleven Defendants Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Selling Crack Cocaine And Heroin In The Bronx

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”),  and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), today announced the unsealing of five Indictments charging a total of 11 defendants with allegedly engaging in the distribution of crack cocaine and heroin in the vicinity of the Forest Houses housing project in the 42nd Precinct, in the Bronx, New York.  Seven defendants were taken into custody today and an eighth defendant is currently in state custody on another charge.  The seven defendants who were arrested today will be presented and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein later today.  Four defendants remain at large.        

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Crack cocaine and heroin wreak devastation in the community.  The hardworking people living in and around the Forest Houses deserve better – they deserve a safe environment to call home.  Investigating and prosecuting the kind of drug trafficking conduct alleged of these defendants is a significant step toward protecting Forest Houses residents and achieving that goal.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “For two years, a multi-agency operation targeted those responsible for littering the Forest Housing Development and surrounding areas with drugs. This operation was focused not only on making these arrests and dismantling a drug trafficking ring, but it was focused on reclaiming this neighborhood for the hard working residents who are exposed to drug trafficking and the perils associated.”

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “The NYPD remains committed to protecting the residents of public housing as demonstrated by these arrests and indictments. I would like to thank the investigators of Narcotic Borough Bronx, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District and our law enforcement partners for their efforts to stop the sale of illegal narcotics in the Forrest Houses and to improve the quality of life of the families who live there.”

As alleged in the Indictments unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

 

[1]   As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictments and the description of the Indictments set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

United States v. Antwoine Williams, et al., 15 Cr. 356 (PAC)

Between July 2013 and September 2014, ANTWOINE WILLIAMS, ELVIS ARIAS, GEORGE MONSANTO, JESUS BENEDITH, MICHAEL CABAN, and THEODORE WILLIAMS conspired to sell crack cocaine in the vicinity of the Forest Houses in the Bronx.  During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants sold crack cocaine to undercover law enforcement officers on numerous occasions.  Certain defendants also sold crack cocaine to the undercover officers on behalf of their co-conspirators or worked together to complete the sales to the undercover officers.

United States v. James Jacobs and Moses Bermudez, 15 Cr. 357 (JSR)

Similarly, between July 2013 and September 2014, JAMES JACOBS and MOSES BERMUDEZ conspired to sell heroin in the vicinity of the Forest Houses in the Bronx.  During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants sold heroin to undercover law enforcement officers on numerous occasions.

United States v. Percy Kearney, 15 Cr. 352 (RA)

United States v. Raheem Barber, 15 Cr. 353 (KBF)

United States v. Steven Jude, 15 Cr. 355 (JFK)

Between July 2013 and September 2014, each of the defendants charged in these three indictments sold crack cocaine to undercover officers in the vicinity of the Forest Houses in the Bronx.  Each defendant sold crack cocaine to undercover officers on multiple occasions.

*                      *                     *

The defendants in United States v. Williams, et al. face maximum terms of life in prison and mandatory minimum terms of 10 years in prison.  The defendants in United States v. Jacobs and Bermudez face maximum terms of 40 years in prison and mandatory minimum terms of five years in prison.  KEARNEY, BARBER, and JUDE each face a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the Court.

A chart containing the names, ages, narcotics type, and residence information of the defendants who were arrested today is attached.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and the NYPD, and also thanked the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the NYC Department of Investigation's Office of the Inspector General for NYCHA for their assistance.

These cases are being handled by the Office’s Violence and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Lonergan and Jessica Fender are in charge of the prosecutions.

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

 

United States v. Antwoine Williams, et al.

                                                                                                        

NAME

AGE

NARCOTIC

RESIDENCE

Antwoine Williams, a/k/a “Ace”

27

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

Elvis Arias, a/k/a “J,” a/k/a “Ex”

25

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

Jesus Benedith, a/k/a “Shorty,” a/k/a “Mike”

21

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

Michael Caban, a/k/a “Baretta”

27

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

 

United States v. James Jacobs and Moses Bermudez

 

NAME

AGE

NARCOTIC

RESIDENCE

Moses Bermudez, a/k/a “Moreno”

52

Heroin

Bronx

 

United States v. Percy Kearney

United States v. Raheem Barber

United States v. Steven Jude

 

NAME

AGE

NARCOTIC

RESIDENCE

Percy Kearney, a/k/a “Boogie”

32

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

Raheem Barber, a/k/a “Grey”

38

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

Steven Jude, a/k/a “Paunch”

45

Crack Cocaine

Bronx

Updated June 17, 2015