MAY 24 -- (ALBANY, NY) John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby announces that twenty-four (24) men and three (3) women have been charged in a federal indictment unsealed today in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. All twenty-seven (27) defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and cocaine base (crack cocaine), and two defendants were also charged with possession and distribution of cocaine base (crack). Nineteen (19) of the defendants are from the City of Troy, five (5) are from the City of Albany, and three (3) are from the New York City area. Count I of the Indictment alleges that the defendants conspired together to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine and 50 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine).
John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge stated, “These arrests prove the commitment of local and federal law enforcement to reclaim their neighborhoods from drugs and violence. This organization’s drug distribution operation spread from the Big Apple to the Capital of New York, but today is out of business.” SAC Gilbride commended the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, the New York State Police, the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office, and the Troy and Albany Police Departments.
Law enforcement authorities arrested 19 defendants at various locations in the Troy, Albany, and New York City areas early this morning. One defendant was incarcerated. The initial appearances of the Defendants in Federal Court begin before United States Magistrate Judge Randolph J. Treece at 2:00 p.m. today. Searches executed in the cities of Albany and Troy yielded quantities of crack cocaine, cash, handguns and an AK-47 automatic rifle.
This prosecution resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Police, the Capital District Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Troy Police Department, and the Albany Police Department. U.S. Attorney Suddaby praised the outstanding cooperative efforts of the federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who participated in this investigation and prosecution.
Count II of the indictment alleges that Anthony Blackmore possessed and distributed crack cocaine between July 19, 2006, through December 6, 2006. Count III of the indictment alleges that Andrew Whitaker possessed and distributed crack cocaine between May 9, 2006, through June 20, 2006. The drug transactions are alleged to have occurred in Rennselaer County. The indictment also alleges that the following defendants had prior felony drug convictions in Rensselaer, Albany, or Kings Counties of New York: Sherwin Maxwell, Moleak Battice, Anthony Blackmore, McKinsey Williams, Raheem Brown, Alexander Torres, Natika McCrae, James White, Tony Jordan, Vincent Porter and Kerry Pompey.
Count I carries maximum penalties of imprisonment for life, supervised release for life, and a fine of $4,000,000, and statutory minimum penalties of imprisonment for ten (10) years and supervised release for five (5) years. If convicted, the defendants with prior drug felony convictions face statutory minimum penalties of imprisonment for twenty (20) years and supervised release for ten (10) years. The Indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent of the charges unless and until proven guilty.
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Preston L. Felton said, “Today, the combined efforts of Federal, state, and local law enforcement have delivered a significant impact to the cocaine and crack cocaine trade in the Capital District of New York. Drug trafficking has long been the fuel for gang violence and proliferation. Gang activity has plagued a number of our neighborhoods and threatens the quality of life and our children's futures. These indictments send a strong message to dealers throughout the region that the citizens of New York State will not tolerate drugs in their communities.”
Chief Nicholas Kaiser of the Troy Police Department remarked, “This case highlights the success we can achieve when all levels of law enforcement work together. We in the City of Troy are highly grateful for and proud of the achievements of our law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local level. These arrests will certainly have a profound effect on our quality of life in our city and the Capital District as a whole.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James C. Woods and Dan Hanlon, Deputy District Attorney of Rensselaer County, who has been appointed a Special Assistant United States Attorney.