Home New York Press Releases 2013 Fourteen Charged with Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking in the Bronx and Across the Hudson Valley

Fourteen Charged with Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking in the Bronx and Across the Hudson Valley

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 01, 2013
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Brian R. Crowell, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Joseph A. D'Amico, the Superintendent of the New York State Police, announced the arrest of 14 defendants and the unsealing of an Indictment today charging conspiracies to distribute kilogram quantities of heroin and cocaine in Beacon, the Bronx, the city of Middletown, the city of Newburgh, and New Windsor, New York.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “Drug traffickers long ago discovered opportunities to peddle their venom way beyond city limits, and fortunately the law enforcement community is there to intercept them. Today’s arrests exemplify our unrelenting efforts to remove drug dealers from our streets and make them safe for law-abiding citizens, city and country.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos stated, “Heroin and cocaine are a scourge on society, often victimizing our cities' most vulnerable. Today’s arrest and subsequent charges bring us one step closer to cleaning up our streets.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian R. Crowell stated, “Drug abuse claims more young people’s lives annually today than suicides, firearm deaths, or school violence, and unintentional drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in 17 states, even more than automobile accidents. This case is a fine example of state, local, and federal law enforcement to keep our neighborhoods safe from drug traffickers. I commend our law enforcement partners and our men and women who worked shoulder to shoulder on this investigation to make the streets safer for the residents and youth in the Newburgh area.”

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico stated, “A significant amount of drugs will not make it into our communities as a result of the dedication and due diligence of investigators and prosecutors working collaboratively to wipe out these types of drug operations. It is through this cooperative effort among our partners in law enforcement that we will continue to target and remove from our streets those who choose to engage in this type of illegal and dangerous activity.”

The indictment charges ESMERALDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Esmo,” 32; ABNER ALVAREZ, JR., 30; ABNER ALVAREZ, SR., 47; JAMES L. CANELLI III, 36; EMILIO CASTILLO, a/k/a “E,” 28; ANTHONY CESPEDES, a/k/a “Anth,” 27; MICHAEL FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Scooby,” 36; BRADLEY FRIEDLANDER, 30; DARRELL LOPEZ, a/k/a “D,” 32; CARLOS MARTINEZ, 30; RAUL OQUENDO, 32; NYGEL RIVERA, 22; RAMON URIBE, a/k/a “Polo,” 38; and BERNARDO VALENTIN, a/k/a “Chickie,” 42, with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine and/or heroin.

Thirteen of the defendants charged in the indictment unsealed today were arrested today or have previously been taken into custody. One, Darrell Lopez, remains at large as a fugitive. The defendants in custody are to be presented in White Plains federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge George A. Yanthis.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI; the DEA; the New York State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Beacon Police Department; the city of Middletown Police Department; the city of Newburgh Police Department; the town of Newburgh Police Department; and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gerber and Ilan Graff are in charge of the prosecution.

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

Count Charge Defendants Maximum Penalties
One Narcotics conspiracy (conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine) ESMERALDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Esmo,” ABNER ALVAREZ, JR., MICHAEL FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Scooby,” BRADLEY FRIEDLANDER, CARLOS MARTINEZ, RAUL OQUENDO, NYGEL RIVERA, RAMON URIBE, a/k/a “Polo,” BERNARDO VALENTIN, a/k/a “Chickie" Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison
Two Narcotics conspiracy (conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin) ESMERALDO HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Esmo,” JAMES L. CANELLI III, EMILIO CASTILLO, a/k/a “E,” ANTHONY CESPEDES, a/k/a “Anth,” MICHAEL FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Scooby,” DARRELL LOPEZ, a/k/a “D,” a RAMON URIBE, a/k/a “Polo" Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison
Three Narcotics conspiracy (conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms and more of cocaine) ABNER ALVAREZ, SR. ABNER ALVAREZ, JR. Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison