U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York
(212) 637-2600
July 30, 2015

Twenty Individuals Charged with Narcotics Trafficking Involving Firearms in the Bronx

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing today of an Indictment charging 20 defendants with participating in a conspiracy to distribute large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine in the vicinity of Hoe Avenue and Aldus Street in the Bronx. Six of the 20 defendants were also charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking conspiracy. Several of the defendants charged in the Indictment were involved in a recent shooting in which a member of the conspiracy used a handgun to fire shots at two individuals—who luckily were not struck by the gunfire—in front of an apartment building on Aldus Street. Fifteen of the defendants named in the Indictment are in federal custody and are expected to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Pitman. Fourteen of those defendants were taken into federal custody today, and one was already in federal custody on a separate criminal case pending in Manhattan federal court.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, the twenty defendants charged today were part of a dangerous drug trafficking crew that terrorized a Bronx neighborhood by peddling heroin and crack cocaine in apartment buildings with families and children, just a block from a public school. As the indictment alleges, this crew protected its turf with guns, not afraid to shoot at people in front of a Bronx apartment building, as one of the defendants is alleged to have done in May. Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and the NYPD, the residents of that Bronx neighborhood are safer today.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez said: “The FBI remains committed to protecting our community by targeting and removing violent drug distributors and their guns from our neighborhoods. As alleged herein, the defendants committed their illegal acts near a school and surrounded by families. With no regard for innocent lives, they brazenly carried and fired their weapons on crowded New York City streets. We thank the New York City Police.

Department and the United States Attorney’s Office for sharing our commitment through solid partnerships and strong joint investigations.”

NYPD Commissioner Bratton said: “There is no place in our communities for narcotics trafficking and the violence associated with this criminal enterprise. I would like to commend the NYPD investigators, the agents of the FBI, and the prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Office whose work in this investigation brought these individuals to justice.”

As alleged 1 in the Indictment and other court documents unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

From May 2014 through July 2015, the twenty defendants named in the Indictment—specifically, RAFAEL OJEDA, 51, CALVIN OJEDA, 24, JONATHAN OJEDA, 22, SERVANDO JOSE GOMEZ, 41, HECTOR TIRADO, 22, TRAVIS PROFIT, 28, ANGEL SEPULVEDA, 35, EDUARDO VAZQUEZ, 23, JASON PEREZ, 24, TREVIS BOWENS, 25, JHOVY DIONIZIO, 27, CHRISTIAN DUMES, 33, CHRISTIAN RAMOS, 26, PAQUITO RODRIGUEZ, 56, GISETTE RIVERA, 56, SAMUEL PALMER, 20, JOSE COLON, 48, ANTOINE HENDERSON, 28, ADRIEL PONCE, 25, and CHRISTOPHER RICHARDSON, 22—participated in a conspiracy to sell controlled substances, including heroin and crack cocaine, in the vicinity of Hoe Avenue in the Bronx. Specifically, the Indictment charges these twenty defendants with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least one kilogram of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of heroin and an unspecified quantity of mixtures and substances containing cocaine base in a form commonly known as “crack.” Six of the twenty defendants—namely, CALVIN OJEDA, JONATHAN OJEDA, GOMEZ, PROFIT, VAZQUEZ and PEREZ—are also charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking conspiracy.

During the time period charged in the Indictment, members of the conspiracy sold large quantities of heroin and crack in the vicinity of Hoe Avenue in the Bronx, about one city block from a public school. Members of the conspiracy sold heroin and crack from stairwells and other common areas in apartment buildings where families with children reside, and in private apartments that have been converted into drug stash houses in such buildings, among other locations. Multiple members of the conspiracy used firearms in connection with their narcotics trafficking. On or about May 29, 2015, several of the defendants charged in the Indictment were involved in a shooting in which one of the defendants used a handgun to fire shots at two people in front of an apartment building on Aldus Street.

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Of the twenty defendants named in the Indictment, the fourteen defendants charged only with participating in the narcotics trafficking conspiracy face mandatory minimum prison terms of 10 years and maximum prison terms of life. The remaining six defendants, who are charged both with participating in the narcotics trafficking conspiracy and also with possession of firearms in furtherance of that conspiracy, face mandatory minimum prison terms of fifteen years and maximum prison terms of life. The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentences imposed on the defendants will be determined by the Court.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and NYPD.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Samson Enzer and Jared Lenow 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.

1 As the introductory phrase signifies, the text of the Indictment and other court papers referenced herein, and the description of those materials set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

CHARGE(S)

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram and more of heroin, and an unspecified quantity of crack cocaine

All 20 of the defendants named in the Indictment:

RAFAEL OJEDA CALVIN OJEDA JONATHAN OJEDA SERVANDO JOSE GOMEZ HECTOR TIRADO TRAVIS PROFIT ANGEL SEPULVEDA EDUARDO VAZQUEZ JASON PEREZ TREVIS BOWENS JHOVY DIONIZIO CHRISTIAN DUMES CHRISTIAN RAMOS PAQUITO RODRIGUEZ GISETTE RIVERA SAMUEL PALMER JOSE COLON ANTOINE HENDERSON ADRIEL PONCE CHRISTOPHER RICHARDSON

Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison

Possession of firearms in furtherance of the above- referenced narcotics conspiracy

Six of the 20 defendants named in the Indictment:

CALVIN OJEDA JONATHAN OJEDA SERVANDO JOSE GOMEZ TRAVIS PROFIT EDUARDO VAZQUEZ JASON PEREZ

Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: Five years in prison, to be imposed consecutively to any other sentence

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