Eleven suspects face charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine from the Bronx, through the Hudson Valley -- including Westchester County -- and up to Albany, federal and local law enforcement authorities announced Thursday.
The suspects are accused of conspiring to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, five kilos or more of cocaine in an operation dubbed the Orloff Organization.
"These arrests are the product of the ongoing and unparalleled cooperation between our office and the Westchester District Attorney's Office, and between federal and local law enforcement authorities," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
All eleven charged in indictments unsealed Thursday were arrested. Ten of them were presented in federal court in White Plains before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison. One defendant is scheduled to be presented Friday before the judge.
State and federal law enforcement officers also executed search warrants at 24 locations and in four vehicles. These searches resulted in the seizure of more than $800,000 in cash, more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, about 40 pounds of marijuana, eight firearms, several kilo presses and other drug-trafficking paraphernalia.
The cocaine was stashed at a residence on Orloff Avenue in the Bronx from last year until April, according to the indictment.
The suspects are Phillip Llenas, 39, Franklin Abreu, 28, Sherman Alston, 51, Victor Andrades, 38, Angel Aponte, 34, James Fernandez, 32, Fernando Guerrero, 31, Jose Pereyra, 33, Mensur Radoncic, 31, Keenan Soto, 25, and Karl Zarate, 38.
The charge carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.
Tarrytown Police Chief Chief Scott W. Brown, speaking for the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, said: "We are extremely proud of our officers and grateful for the assistance and cooperation of all agencies involved. The dedication and diligence of these law enforcement professionals will have a significant impact on the flow of illegal drugs in our communities."
The agencies involved in the investigation included the FBI; the police departments of Greenburgh, Yonkers, Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, North Castle, Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown; the Westchester District Attorney's Office; the New York State Police; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and the New York Police Department.
FBI: Drug ring bust leads to 11 arrestsNEWBURGH — Two Town of Newburgh men and nine other people were arrested by the FBI on Thursday and charged with distributing kilogram-quantities of cocaine in Orange, Albany and Westchester counties and the Bronx, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Federal agents and state and local law enforcement agencies recovered five kilos of cocaine, over $800,000 in cash, 40 pounds of marijuana and eight guns after executing warrants at 24 locations.
They also recovered kilo presses and other paraphernalia.
Among those arrested were Jose "Nano" Pereyra, 33. Pereyra was arrested at his home on Ashwood Terrace in Newburgh, and is considered the head of the organization. Another Town of Newburgh man, Karl Zarate, 25, of Knight's Circle, was also arrested.
Federal prosecutors charged them and the others with being part of an organization whose base was a stash house on Orloff Avenue in the Bronx.
"Today, we were able to disrupt and dismantle yet another drug trafficking organization whose primary goal was to distribute cocaine in the surrounding area," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said.
Along with the FBI, the investigation included the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, the Westchester District Attorney's Office, state police and the New York City and Yonkers police departments.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also took part.
Also charged were: Franklin Abreu, 28; Sherman "Sherm" Alston, 51; Victor "Fat Man" Andrades, 38; Angel Aponte, 34; James "Burg" Fernandez, 32; Fernando Guerrero, 31; Phillip "Bemba" Llenas, 39; Mensur "Stu" Radoncic, 31; and Keenan "Chinito" Soto, 25.
Each defendant was charged with narcotics conspiracy and faces 10 years to life in prison.