Crack Cocaine Drug Ring Dismantled
JUL 03 -- (Albany, NY) Over the past 6 months, an investigation was conducted which identified and dismantled a crack cocaine distribution organization based in Greene and Colombia Counties. Members of the Capital District Drug Task Force (CDDETF/DEA) and the New York State Police’s Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) joined forces with the NYSP Catskill BCI unit, NYSP Livingston BCI unit, the Catskill Police Department, the Hudson Police Department and the Columbia County Sheriff’s office to target individuals who were suspected of distributing crack cocaine to local level dealers in both Greene and Columbia Counties. With the assistance of DA Terry Wilhelm, Greene County DA ’s office, warrants were obtained from both the Federal Court in Albany and Greene County Court through the Honorable Daniel K. Lalor.
John P. Gilbride, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") stated, “Crack cocaine is a destructive poison that has spread across our communities nationwide. With this investigation, law enforcement has identified those responsible for selling it on the streets of Greene and Colombia Counties. By uniting federal, local and state law enforcement we have been able to combine our resources in order to weed out drug traffickers and make our communities a safer and drug free place to live.”
In the early morning hours of June 27, 2008, members from the New York State Police’s MRT unit, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Entry Team and the Hudson Police Department’s Entry Team executed a series of 6 search warrants at various locations in both Greene and Columbia Counties. These entry teams were supported by personnel from the DEA, CNET Capital, NYSP (Livingston, Catskill and Kingston ), Catskill PD, Hudson PD, the Columbia County Sheriff’s office and the US Marshall Service. Also assisting at the scenes were K9 units from the NYSP and the Columbia County Sheriff’s office.
As a result of the search warrants the following individuals were arrested:
Cash Whitmore, 23, of 6631 Park Place Stottville, NY – charged with Title 21 USC 841/846 Possession/Distribution of a Controlled Substance
Steven Griffen, 28, of Hemstead, NY – Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3 rd (intent to sell)
Seized during the execution of the search warrants was just under a half a kilogram of crack/cocaine, two loaded handguns and small quantities of marijuana.
The federal charges brought against the above listed individuals could carry a penalty of 20 years to life imprisonment and/or a one million dollar fine.
The success of this investigation should be credited to the amount of team work that all law enforcement agencies brought forth during the past six months. Each agency; whether federal, state or local, provided resources to the case that proved beneficial to the goal of dismantling a narcotics trafficking organization in the Twin Counties. Additional charges are pending and more arrests are expected. All questions at this time should be directed to DA Terry Wilhelm of the Greene County District Attorney’s office in Catskill , NY .