U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Charges 13 Monticello Area Residents with Narcotics Trafficking Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 13, 2011|
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); James R. Farrell, the Sullivan County District Attorney; Douglas Solomon, the Chief of the Monticello Police Department; and Major Edward Raso of Troop F, the New York State Police, announced charges today against 13 individuals for narcotics trafficking offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine and powder cocaine in and around Monticello, New York. Eleven defendants are charged in an Indictment with conspiring to distribute 280 grams and more of crack as well as powder cocaine. Two other defendants are charged in separate Complaints with attempting to distribute 28 grams and more of crack cocaine. The 13 defendants were arrested over the last 24 hours and are expected to be presented in White Plains federal court later this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Crack and powder cocaine descend like a plague upon a community, leaving a trail of violence, destruction, and addiction in their wake. Today marks another step in our campaign to clean up the neighborhoods in the northern counties of our District and to restore the quality of life to their residents.”
Assistant FBI Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “Narcotics trafficking adversely affects safety and quality of life in municipalities big and small. The illicit drug trade is not just an urban problem, and the FBI is as committed to Monticello as Manhattan.”
Sullivan County District Attorney James R. Farrell stated: “The arrests that occurred today are the by-product of the hard work and combined effort of our federal and local law enforcement agencies. This joint initiative shows that when we work together, we can make a difference and protect our communities from the scourge of drugs and gangs. With shrinking budgets and New York’s revised drug laws, now, more than ever, partnerships with our federal counterparts are vital to our public safety mission. I want to commend the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for their commitment to making Sullivan County safe. I also want to thank Monticello Police Chief Doug Solomon, the New York State Police, and Major Edward Raso, Troop F Commander, for their commitment of local resources to this important work and their successful partnership with the federal authorities.”
Monticello Police Chief Douglas Solomon stated: “I am very pleased with the arrests made pursuant to this investigation. Under federal statutes, the significant prison time these defendants are facing should send a clear message to gang members and drug dealers, that the Monticello Police Department will use every resource available in order to protect our community. In addition, I would hope that these arrests have the effect of tamping down the spike in gun violence we have experienced this past year. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the New York State Police, and all the agencies that have been participating in the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force for making this case possible.”
New York State Police Major Edward Raso stated: “This latest enforcement effort represents a continuation of the outstanding work of the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force. As law enforcement officers we are aware that criminal enterprises stretch beyond geographical and political boundaries. These arrests represent the Task Force’s first in Sullivan County. We will continue to pursue these criminals across the Hudson Valley.”
According to the Indictment U.S. v. Jasaan Bastian, et al., unsealed today in White Plains federal court:
From at least 2009 through April 2011, JASAAN BASTIAN, FRANK WILLIAMS, DELSHONDA KIMBLE, JESSE LEWIS, JOAN JAMES, JASON ELDER, FLOYD SPRUILL, MESSIAH LOCKHART, KENNETH MITCHELL, JR. ANDREA BROWN, and BASHEEM SMALLS, agreed to distribute 280 grams and more of crack and powder cocaine in the area around Monticello in Sullivan County.
Specifically, BASTIAN, LEWIS, and JAMES obtained quantities of crack and powder cocaine from various suppliers, including at least one supplier in New York City. In addition to directly distributing the drugs, BASTIAN arranged for WILLIAMS and KIMBLE to transport crack and powder cocaine to ELDER, SPRUILL, LOCKHART, MITCHELL, JR., BROWN, and SMALLS, who sold the crack and powder cocaine to other drug dealers and retail customers.
According to the Complaints U.S. v. Errol Davis and U.S. v. Darren Johnson, unsealed today in White Plains federal court:
Between October 2010 and February 2011, DARREN JOHNSON and ERROL DAVIS each attempted to sell 28 grams or more of crack cocaine to a confidential informant. The deals were arranged over the phone. JOHNSON completed the transaction in Fallsburg, New York. DA VIS completed the transaction in Monticello, New York.
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Each of the 11 defendants named in U.S. v. Jasaan Bastian, et al., faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment.
ERROL DAVIS and DARREN JOHNSON each are charged in a separate complaint with two counts: attempting to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams and more of crack cocaine, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, and with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute crack, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the New York State Police, the Village of Monticello Police Department, the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, and the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force.
He also thanked the Sullivan County Sheriffs Office, the New York OCDETF Crime Strike Force, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Mr. Bharara added that the investigation is continuing.
These prosecutions are being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Alberts and Douglas Bloom are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment and the Complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.