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Press Release

Leader Of Bronx Drug Distribution Organization Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that EDWIN ROMERO was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in prison for his role as the leader of a drug distribution organization centered on Weeks Avenue and East 175th Street in the Mount Hope neighborhood of the Bronx, including the murder of Jose Montalvo on May 13, 2004.  ROMERO was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska, after previously pleading guilty to participating in a narcotics distribution conspiracy. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “For nearly two decades Edwin Romero was the leader of a major drug organization, responsible for dozens of dealers selling dangerous drugs on the streets of the Bronx, and for numerous acts of violence committed at his direction.  Romero was personally responsible for the cold-blooded murder of Jose Montalvo, whom he shot ten times in May 2004.  The sentence imposed is just punishment for a man who for years held a community in the grip of violence and drugs.  We thank our partners at Homeland Security Investigations and the New York City Police Department for their outstanding work on this case.”

According to the allegations in the superseding Indictment filed against EDWIN ROMERO and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

Between at least 2000 until March 2017, ROMERO was a member and leader of a long-running narcotics conspiracy centered around East 175th Street and Weeks Avenue in the Bronx, New York.  ROMERO and dozens of members of the conspiracy, including juveniles working at ROMERO’s direction, sold crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana every day on the streets and in buildings throughout the neighborhood.  In the course of his participation in the conspiracy, ROMERO committed numerous robberies and acts of gun violence, including the May 13, 2004 murder of Jose Montalvo at the corner of East 175th Street and Monroe Avenue.  He also provided guns to other members of the group, caused subordinates to commit shootings and robberies, and used threats and intimidation to maintain and expand the organization’s territory.

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Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York City Police Department. 

The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Balsamello, Matthew Hellman, and Anden Chow are in charge of the prosecution.


James Margolin, Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated November 27, 2019

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-408