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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Five Members Of New York Area Drug Trafficking Organization Charged With Diverting And Selling Tens Of Thousands Of Oxycodone Pills

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and George P. Beach II, the Superintendent of the New York State Police, announced an Indictment charging RICKY RIOS, JEANETTE SANTIAGO, ADRIEL VASQUEZ, CINDY GARCIA, and ULTIMO MONTILLA with a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone pills.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, these defendants created a network spanning New York City to Connecticut for the distribution of tens of thousands of highly addictive and dangerous pills, helping to fuel the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation.  We are committed, along with our law enforcement partners, to stopping the diversion of prescription opioids.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said:  “This organization monopolized on opioid addiction by pushing tens of thousands of oxycodone pills throughout the Northeast, allegedly.  Every day, more than 100 Americans die from opioid overdoses; both law enforcement and our community members are focused on bringing to justice drug trafficking organizations that exploit addiction for profit.” 

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “I commend all the dedicated members of the federal task force who investigated and took down the individuals responsible for diverting and selling these pills on the streets of New York.  Cases like this perfectly highlight the value of the NYPD’s law enforcement partnerships at every level of government.”

Superintendent George P. Beach II said:  “Oxycodone is a highly addictive medication, and the operators of this trafficking ring profited by illegally diverting tens of thousands of doses for sale on the streets, knowing it would be abused. I thank our federal and local partners for their efforts to put a stop to this illegal trafficking operation.”

As alleged in the underlying Complaints and the Indictment charging the defendants in Manhattan federal court[1]:

The defendants were members of a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) that operated in the Bronx, among other places.  The defendants and other members and associates of the DTO obtained oxycodone pills from individuals with prescriptions, stored and packaged those pills in an apartment in the Bronx, and then resold them.  Between November 2016 and February 2018, the defendants and other members and associates of the DTO were responsible for diverting and selling tens of thousands of oxycodone pills. 

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A chart with the names, ages, residences, and maximum penalties for the defendants is set forth below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

The Indictment was the result of a long-term investigation by the DEA’s Drug Enforcement Task Force, which comprises agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Police.  This case is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael K. Krouse is in charge of the prosecution.

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

 

DEFENDANT

AGE

RESIDENCE

MAXIMUM PENALTY

RICKY RIOS

49

Seymour, CT

20 years in prison

JEANETTE SANTIAGO

37

Bronx, NY

20 years in prison

ADRIEL VASQUEZ

37

Yonkers, NY

20 years in prison

CINDY GARCIA

40

Yonkers, NY

20 years in prison

ULTIMO MONTILLA

40

Bronx, NY

20 years in prison

 

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

Updated May 9, 2018