Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Kruskall , Special Agent in Charge

June 17, 2015

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-3900

Eleven Defendants Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Selling Crack Cocaine And Heroin In The Bronx

MANHATTAN, N.Y. - Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement (DEA),  and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police (NYPD), today announced the unsealing of five Indictments charging a total of 11 defendants with allegedly engaging in the distribution of crack cocaine and heroin in the vicinity of the Forest Houses housing project in the 42nd Precinct, in the Bronx, New York.  Seven defendants were taken into custody today and an eighth defendant is currently in state custody on another charge.  The seven defendants who were arrested today will be presented and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein later today.  Four defendants remain at large. 
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Crack cocaine and heroin wreak devastation in the community.  The hardworking people living in and around the Forest Houses deserve better - they deserve a safe environment to call home.  Investigating and prosecuting the kind of drug trafficking conduct alleged of these defendants is a significant step toward protecting Forest Houses residents and achieving that goal.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, “For two years, a multi-agency operation targeted those responsible for littering the Forest Housing Development and surrounding areas with drugs. This operation was focused not only on making these arrests and dismantling a drug trafficking ring, but it was focused on reclaiming this neighborhood for the hard working residents who are exposed to drug trafficking and the perils associated.”

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “The NYPD remains committed to protecting the residents of public housing as demonstrated by these arrests and indictments. I would like to thank the investigators of Narcotic Borough Bronx, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District and our law enforcement partners for their efforts to stop the sale of illegal narcotics in the Forrest Houses and to improve the quality of life of the families who live there.”

As alleged in the Indictments unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

United States v. Antwoine Williams, et al., 15 Cr. (PAC)

Between July 2013 and September 2014, Antwoine Williams, Elvis Arias, George Monsanto, Jesus Benedith, Michael Caban, and Theodore Williams conspired to sell crack cocaine in the vicinity of the Forest Houses in the Bronx.  During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants sold crack cocaine to undercover law enforcement officers on numerous occasions.  Certain defendants also sold crack cocaine to the undercover officers on behalf of their co-conspirators or worked together to complete the sales to the undercover officers.

United States v. James Jacobs and Moses Bermudez, 15 Cr. (JSR)

Similarly, between July 2013 and September 2014, James Jacobs and Moses Bermudez conspired to sell heroin in the vicinity of the Forest Houses in the Bronx.  During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants sold heroin to undercover law enforcement officers on numerous occasions.

United States v. Percy Kearney, 15 Cr. (RA)
United States v. Raheem Barber, 15 Cr. (KBF)
United States v. Steven Jude, 15 Cr. (JFK)

Between July 2013 and September 2014, each of the defendants charged in these three indictments sold crack cocaine to undercover officers in the vicinity of the Forest Houses in the Bronx.  Each defendant sold crack cocaine to undercover officers on multiple occasions.

The defendants in United States v. Williams, et al. face maximum terms of lifetime imprisonment in prison and mandatory minimum terms of 10 years in prison.  The defendants in United States v. Jacobs and Bermudez face maximum terms of 40 years in prison and mandatory minimum terms of five years in prison.  Kearney, Barber, and Jude each face a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

A chart containing the names, ages, narcotics type, and residence information of the defendants who were arrested today is below.

 Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA and the NYPD, and also thanked the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the NYC Department of Investigation's Office of the Inspector General for NYCHA for their assistance.

These cases are being handled by the Office’s Violence and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Lonergan and Jessica Fender are in charge of the prosecutions.

The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

                                                               
United States v. Antwoine Williams, et al. -
                                                                                                           

United States v. James Jacobs and Moses Bermudez -

United States v. Percy Kearney -
United States v. Raheem Barber -
United States v. Steven Jude -

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