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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fifteen Defendants Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Narcotics Trafficking In Orange County

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Ennis, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), George P. Beach II, Superintendent of the New York State Police, Ramon Bethencourt, Chief of the City of Middletown Police Department, and Carl E. DuBois, the Orange County Sherriff, today announced the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging fifteen defendants with trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine in and around Orange County, New York.  One of the defendants is also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics distribution conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, the fifteen men and women charged today were part of a drug distribution network that peddled large quantities of powder and crack cocaine in and around Orange County.  The residents of Orange County are entitled to live and work free from the ills of narcotics trafficking.  Our joint effort with the FBI, the City of Middletown Police Department, the Orange County Sherriff’s Office, and the New York State Police brings us closer to that goal.”

FBI Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge George Ennis said: “When the public hears about the FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force rounding up a group of alleged drug dealers and violent criminals, it may almost sound redundant.  When we take out the alleged leaders of one conspiracy, unfortunately there are more people waiting to take over.  However, our determination to stop the drug trade from having an impact on communities won’t go away.  The next group waiting to take over should take this case as a warning that their actions will be met with severe consequences.” 

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said: “Through close collaboration with our federal and local partners, we have dismantled a dangerous cocaine trafficking operation that was allegedly supplying illegal drugs to a large area of the Hudson Valley. I commend our members and those from the involved law enforcement agencies for their hard work in uncovering this operation, and preventing more illegal drugs from reaching our streets.”

City of Middletown Police Chief Ramon Bethencourt said: “Law enforcement agencies continue to work together to eliminate narcotics traffickers and it is these collaborative efforts that lead to successful operations such as this investigation. The scourge of narcotics and narcotics trafficking cannot and will not maintain a foothold in the City of Middletown. The City of Middletown Police Department will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to rid our community of these dangerous criminals who allegedly prey on members of society when they are at their very weakest.”

Orange County Sherriff Carl E. DuBois said: “I want to thank the members of local, state, and federal law enforcement whose tireless investigative work made this day possible.  I also want to thank U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and his team of prosecutors for their commitment to make Orange County a safer place in helping to eradicate drugs from our communities.”

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court[1]:

From at least in or about 2015, up to and including in or about August 2016, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, JUAN BENIQUEZ, a/k/a “Johnny,” JUSTIN BENIQUEZ, OSCAR BORIA, JR., ELIJAH CABRERA, WILLIS CALDWELL, a/k/a “Fatts,” ANTHONY CRUM, DEREK DEGROAT, ANTHONY FIELDS, a/k/a “Tone,” DENISE FLORES-JACOBSON, COLLYER GOODMAN, a/k/a “West,” ALAN KING, a/k/a “Killa Grip,” LIEUNIGEL LEWIS, a/k/a “Gucci Louie,” DURANN ROLLINS, a/k/a “Dee,” DAMON WHEELER, a/k/a “Ross,” and LINDA WILLIAMS conspired to sell cocaine and crack cocaine.  Specifically, the defendants JUAN BENIQUEZ, JUSTIN BENIQUEZ, DEGROAT, FIELDS, FLORES-JACOBSON, KING, LEWIS, ROLLINS, and LINDA WILLIAMS conspired to sell 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, and the defendants JUAN BENIQUEZ, BORIA, CABRERA, CALDWELL, CRUM, GOODMAN, and WHEELER conspired to sell five kilograms or more of cocaine.  During the course of the conspiracy, law enforcement officers observed several defendants participate in the sale of cocaine and crack cocaine to confidential informants working with law enforcement.  Law enforcement officers using court-authorized wiretaps also intercepted numerous communications in which the defendants discussed trafficking cocaine and crack and arranged sales of both narcotics. 

The Superseding Indictment also charges JUAN BENIQUEZ with possessing a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics conspiracy.

A chart containing the names of the defendants, and the charges and maximum penalties they face, is attached.         

The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for information purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the respective judges.

*              *             *

Thirteen defendants were taken into federal custody this morning.  Oscar Boria, Jr., had previously been taken into custody.  These defendants will be presented in White Plains federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith.  This case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.  Derek Degroat remains at large.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the City of Middletown Police Department, the Orange County Sherriff’s Office, and the New York State Police. 

These cases are being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Anden Chow is in charge of the prosecutions.

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

 

CHARGE

DEFENDANT

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Narcotics Conspiracy – Crack Cocaine

(Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1) & 841(b)(1)(A))

JUAN BENIQUEZ, a/k/a “Johnny”

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison

JUSTIN BENIQUEZ

DEREK DEGROAT

ANTHONY FIELDS, a/k/a “Tone”

DENISE FLORES-JACOBSON

ALAN KING, a/k/a “Killa Grip”

LIEUNIGEL LEWIS, a/k/a “Gucci Louie”

DURANN ROLLINS, a/k/a “Dee”

LINDA WILLIAMS

Narcotics Conspiracy – Cocaine

(Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1) & 841(b)(1)(A))

JUAN BENIQUEZ, a/k/a “Johnny”

Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison

OSCAR BORIA, JR.

ELIJAH CABRERA

WILLIS CALDWELL, a/k/a “Fatts”

ANTHONY CRUM

COLLYER GOODMAN, a/k/a “West”

DAMON WHEELER, a/k/a “Ross”

Firearms Possession

(Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c))

JUAN BENIQUEZ, a/k/a “Johnny”

Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: 5 years in prison

 

 

 

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

16-234
Topic: 
Drug Trafficking
Updated August 31, 2016