July 06, 2017
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Six Defendants Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Narcotics Trafficking In Westchester County
MANHATTAN, N.Y. - James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York (“DEA”), Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the City of Yonkers Police (“YPD”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment and a complaint charging six defendants with allegedly engaging in the distribution of heroin throughout the Southern District of New York. Five defendants were taken into federal custody today, and will be presented in White Plains federal court this afternoon before United States Magistrate Lisa M. Smith. James Odell Whitted remains at large.
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said: “Gangs are actively capitalizing on opioid addiction by pushing potent heroin onto our streets. In this case, heroin was allegedly being trafficked throughout Yonkers, Westchester and Newburgh communities, increasing the risks of potential overdoses caused by opioids. I applaud the men and women of the Westchester Task Force and the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York for their diligence in this investigation and commitment to safeguarding public health.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “As alleged, these defendants contributed to the rising tide of heroin that is plaguing suburb and city alike. Thanks to the excellent work of the DEA and the Yonkers Police Department, we hope to stem that tide and protect our communities from this epidemic.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said: “These arrests will reduce the availability of heroin in our community and help fight the opioid epidemic we are experiencing. I would like to specifically thank the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the US DEA Westchester Task Force for their support and tenacious efforts in this investigation.”
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court 1 :
From at least in or about February 2017 up to and including in or about June 2017, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, Christopher Coleman, a/k/a “Fox,” Jonathan Acquino, a/k/a “Jonathan Aquino,” a/k/a “Jonathan Harvey-Acquino,” a/k/a “Gotti,” James Odell Whitted, a/k/a “Odell,” a/k/a “O,” Leibys Mercedes, a/k/a “Celly,” a/k/a “Sonny,” Branden Jones, a/k/a “Branden Mima,” a/k/a “Marlo,” conspired to distribute 100 grams and more of heroin.
As alleged in the Complaint unsealed today in White Plains federal court2:
Lisa Henderson and Coleman conspired to distribute heroin. Specifically, Henderson assisted Coleman in packaging the heroin for resale and allowed Coleman to store narcotics trafficking paraphernalia in Henderson’s apartment.
The defendants Coleman, Acquino, Whitted Mercedes, and Jones each face a maximum term of 40 years in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison.
The defendant Lisa Henderson faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
A chart containing the names of the defendants who were arrested and charged today, and the charges and maximum penalties they face, is attached.
The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for information purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the respective judges.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Westchester Resident Office and the Narcotics Unit of the City of Yonkers Police Department. The DEA’s Westchester Resident Office comprises agents and officers of the DEA, Westchester Police Department, New Rochelle Police Department, Yonkers Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, White Plains Police Department, and Port Chester Police Department. Mr. Kim also thanked the United States Marshals Service and the United States Probation Office for their assistance in taking the defendants into custody.
These cases are being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Celia V. Cohen and Samuel L. Raymond are in charge of the prosecutions.
The charges contained in the Indictment and the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.