DOZENS CHARGED IN DRUG ROUNDUP
46 people arrested, indicted in Kingston and Poughkeepsie trafficking operations
Forty-six people have been arrested and indicted in a crackdown on Hudson Valley drug trafficking, authorities announced Thursday.
The arrests were made before dawn Thursday in the Kingston and Poughkeepsie areas and involved hundreds of law-enforcement officers.
The federal indictments, handed up in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Northern and Southern districts of New York state, involve heroin, cocaine, crack and firearms, according to information provided at a Thursday afternoon press conference at the New York National Guard Armory in Kingston and in a press released from the Southern District.
On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted 31 people in the Northern District, which includes Ulster County. In the Southern District, which includes Dutchess County, 15 alleged dealers were indicted.
The Northern District investigation began in April 2015, and members of the Bloods street and prison gang and
the associated Sex Money Murder and G-Shine gangs are among the suspects, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district.
A mother and two of her children were among those arrested, authorities said, and in at least one case, cocaine was hidden in a karaoke machine “and other electronic devices.”
“There’s no karaoke tonight,” Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York state, said at the Kingston press conference.
U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said at the press conference that the Northern District arrests targeted “significant drug traffic” and concluded an investigation that lasted more than a year. He said the network was based in Kingston and distributed drugs throughout the Hudson Valley.
Hartunian said law-enforcement officers seized
20 firearms, including six Glock handguns, as well as about 5 kilograms of cocaine, 153 grams of heroin, 90 grams of crack cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuana and 75 oxycodone pills in the course of the investigation.
Hartunian said the operation targeted dealers because drug distribution “puts a heavy toll on drug users and their families.”
He continued, “We’re under no illusion that operations like today’s will end drug dealing,” but he urged dealers to “heed the warning.”
“We’re here to stay ... we really believe we’re going to make a difference,” he said.
Melendez said many of those arrested and processed in federal court in Albany on Thursday had “pledged their allegiance” to street and prison gangs and “operated with total disregard not only for law enforcement but for the community.”
He said arrests of this scope are usually confined to “big cities” but that dealers are “branching out to rural areas” in hopes of alluding law enforcement.
Melendez said the drug trafficking targeted by investigators “is really a threat to our national security, a threat to our neighborhoods and to our country.”
The Thursday press conference in Kingston also was attended by members of the Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum, Undersheriff Michael Freer, Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright and representatives of the state police and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, among others
Those arrested in the Northern District investigation and charged with being part of a cocaine distribution conspiracy were: Marcus Fisher, 39, of Poughkeepsie; Romell Hearn, 37, of Poughkeepsie; Recardo Langston, 31, of Kingston; Jalen Allen, 23, of Kingston; Jonathon Jones, 46, of Port Ewen; Eunice Allen, 57, of Kingston; Emiliano Alonso, 39, of Miami Beach, Fla.; Guy Cain, 34, of New Windsor; Jamal Clinton, 39, of Lake Katrine; Mark Douglas, 37, of Highland; Kevin Drake,
44, of Kingston; Jose Francisquini, 41, of Connelly; Greg Hardy, 42, of Kingston; Mark Howard, 43, of Poughkeepsie; Cordal Johnson, 39, of Beacon; Phillip Keith, 31, of Lake Katrine; Kareem McFarlane, 31, of Highland; Robert Medley, 38, of Kingston; Michael Monsanto, 28, of Kingston; Ryan Rios, 34, of Kingston; Dwan Scafe, 28, of Poughkeepsie; Dionn Spencer, 28, of Poughkeepsie; Leonard Vandyke, 41, of Kingston; Daniel Williams, 32, of Hyde Park; and Keshia Williams, 28, of Poughkeepsie.
Defendants arrested in the Northern District probe for whom authorities listed specific charges were, for the felonies of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, Robert Curry, 36, of Poughkeepsie, Jadon Douglas, 28, of Poughkeepsie, and Jeffrey Keith, 25, of Kingston; for unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of heroin with intent to distribute, Kashawn Watson, 23, of Kingston, and Maurice Wood, 31, of Kingston; and for possession of heroin with intent to distribute, Jahkeem Ryan, 22, of Port Ewen.
In the Southern District, 15 people were accused of distributing drugs from a Poughkeepsie music store called Outta They League, which a Southern District press release said was a front for drug trafficking and the distribution of “multiple kilograms of cocaine in and around Poughkeepsie ... and to other locations in southern and central New York.”
Authorities said the store is a registered corporation engaged in the production of music, but in recent years has served primarily as a front for the drug business of its owner, Malcolm “M.A.” Kinyon. They said Kinyon used the site to carry out wholesale cocaine transactions and help launder the proceeds of those drug sales.
The 15 alleged dealers arrested and indicted in the Southern District case, charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess 5 kilograms or more of cocaine with intent to distribute, were: Kinyon, Eric Antonmarchi, Star Bermudez, Brian Bowman, Derreck Ensley, Aaron Hardy, Andrew Hardy, Nicholas Leyva, Davion McAdam, Dante McNair, Jaquan McNair, Anton Miller, Daniel Spotards, Vaughn Stokes and Bryan Whittle.
Kinyon, Antonmarchi, Bermudez, Bowman, Ensley, Aaron Hardy, Aaron Hardy, Leyva, McAdam, McNair, Miller, Sportards, Stokes and Whittle were additionally charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, and Kinyon was additionally charged with firearms trafficking, authorities said.
A large police presence and helicopters overhead in Kingston before dawn Thursday, as some of the arrests were being made, prompted the city police department to issue a statement that assured local residents there was “no ongoing, active threat.”
“The increased police presence was for a police operation targeting specific individuals and locations,” the police statement said.
U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, at lectern, speaks during the press conference in Kingston on Thursday.
Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York state, speaks at the Kingston press conference.