JAN 28 (BUFFALO, N.Y.) - Forty people were indicted for operating two different drug trafficking rings that operated throughout Erie, Genesee and Niagara counties. Through parallel investigations that included undercover operations, GPS tracking devices and hundreds of hours of covert surveillance, investigators seized more than $100,000 in cocaine along with large quantities of prescription pills and cash. One of the investigations also led to the discovery of bi-monthly cockfights on an Indian reservation in Niagara County.
"Drug trafficking rings like these infect our neighborhoods and tear apart our communities," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Today's arrests strike a significant blow to the drug trade across Western New York. My office, with our strong collaboration with law enforcement partners, will fight to make our communities safer by rooting out large-scale narcotics trafficking networks."
"It is through the combined efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement that these dangerous individuals are now off our streets and out of our communities," NYSP Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said. "We worked together identifying these dealers, pinpointing their drug activity and shutting down their enterprises. We remain committed to our partnership with the New York State Attorney General's Office and other law enforcement agencies to continue to intercept this type of illegal activity and the damage it does to our communities."
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Acting SAC James J. Hunt said, "The members of this cocaine and crack cocaine distribution crew sold this poison throughout the Niagara Falls area and to traffickers supplying the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, shattering the quality of life along the way. Today's arrests have put an end to their drug network, arresting crew members at all levels; those who sold crack cocaine and cocaine on the streets, to the resellers, to the suppliers who transported the drugs from Florida to Buffalo concealed in soles of shoes. I commend the dedication and teamwork of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout this investigation."
As part of a multi-agency investigation code-named Operation Lockport, federal, state and local law enforcement agents led by the Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) conducted an 18-month-long operation. Two indictments, charging more than 160 combined counts and 25 people, were unsealed in Erie County Supreme Court today.
The investigation led to the seizure of approximately two kilograms of cocaine and more than $60,000 in cash. Members of the narcotics distribution organization would transport the cocaine from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the City of Niagara Falls.
Investigators believe that the suspects would pack cocaine into the soles and heels of doctored pairs of shoes while transporting it from Florida to New York and then cut up the shoes once in Buffalo to extract it. The shoes, along with box cutters, razor blades and utility knives, were found in a vehicle belonging to Vincent Mundy, of Fort Lauderdale, who was arrested this morning.
The cocaine was subsequently sold to Jermaine Cox and Lamar Johnson of Niagara County and Geraldine Horsefall of Genesee County, all of whom acted as the linchpins of the distribution network. The suspects then resold the cocaine to customers residing in Erie County and on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.
Geraldine Horsefall, who was assisted in these sales by her children, was also the focal point of a prescription pain pill distribution network. She obtained hydrocodone pills from some of her co-defendants and resold them to individuals in Genesee and Erie Counties. The Attorney General's Office is conducting a separate investigation into how these prescription pills were originally obtained.
The indictments were announced today by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico who thanked those participating law enforcement agencies who assisted with the investigation; agencies assisted in this investigation, including the United States Drug Enforcement Administration New York Division, Buffalo Resident Office, the New York State Police, the Niagara Falls Police Department, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Genesee County Drug Task Force.
Below is a list of suspects charged in connection with today's indictments.
Charged in connection with Operation Lockport are:
GERALDINE HORSEFALL, 59, of Pembroke, NY
ARYLYN HORSEFALL, 33, of Pembroke, NY
DENNIS KNUEPPEL, 48, of Amherst, NY
MICHELLE KING, 42, of Akron, NY
LORI SCHWAB, 33, of Corfu, NY
DENISE JENNER, 54, of Akron, NY
CHRISTY WHITE, 38, of Akron, NY
RENEE DYLAG, 40, of Akron, NY
DAVID MILKS, 39, of Akron, NY
GLORIA SHELL, 70, of Buffalo, NY
ROY VICTOR, 55, of Holland, NY
ANTHONY BLACKMAN, 32, of Elmira, NY
RUSSELL BLACKMAN, 28, of Elmira, NY
JERMAINE COX, 35, of Niagara Falls, NY
MARQUITTA COX, 38, of Niagara Falls, NY
ORIE DOCTOR, 41, of Tonawanda Indian reservation
WILLIAM GRAHAM, 55, of Niagara Falls, NY
KEVIN KING, 39, of Niagara Falls, NY
LAMAR JOHNSON, 34, of Lewiston, NY
STEPHANIE LOMBARDO, 54, of Lewiston, NY
VINCENTE MUNDY, 59, of Fort Lauderdale, FL
DURVAL PARKER, 37, of Saint Catherine, Jamaica
ERIC PARKER, 38, Pembroke, NY
JAMES SCHMAHL, 34, of Niagara Falls, NY
COCO SPENCER, age 30, Lockport NY
The charges against the defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.