DA SINI, DEA, ATF, NCPD, & LI HEROIN TASK FORCE ANNOUNCE INDICTMENT OF 19 INDIVIDUALS IN ‘OPERATION MONEYGRAM’ NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION
Defendants Allegedly Trafficked Narcotics throughout Long Island & New York City
Alleged Narcotics Ring Linked to 3 Fatal Overdoses on Long Island
(HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini was joined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Nassau County Police Department, and the Long Island Heroin Task Force, comprising officers from the Suffolk County Police Department, Nassau County Police Department, New York State Police and Homeland Security Investigations, to announce the indictment of 19 individuals in connection with an alleged narcotics distribution ring operating in Suffolk and Nassau Counties and in New York City.
“These defendants, like all drug dealers, were just out to make a profit with no regard for human life,” District Attorney Sini said. “They poisoned our communities with every gram of narcotics they sold. It is clear that the world of drug dealing on Long Island is without borders, which is why the sharing of intelligence among the various law enforcement agencies, like the collaboration that made this investigation possible, is critical.”
All 19 co-defendants on the indictment are charged with one count of Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a B felony. The following 14 defendants are in custody:
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison.
The multi-agency investigation, dubbed “Operation Moneygram,” into the defendants’ alleged narcotics trafficking began in October of 2017 with a focus on Sheron Davis. Davis is alleged to have supplied drugs to dealers linked to heroin overdoses in both counties, including two in Suffolk County and one in Nassau County that resulted in death. To date, the investigation has resulted in the seizure of more than 425 grams of heroin, or approximately 15,000 individual doses of heroin, which has a street value of approximately $150,000.
The alleged narcotics distribution ring was operational throughout Long Island and New York City and sold heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, opioid pills and other controlled substances.
“They also manufactured narcotics for distribution, including cooking crack cocaine and pressing pills, which are counterfeit opioids made of dangerous and lethal controlled substances crafted to look like pharmaceutically manufactured pills,” District Attorney Sini said.
Several of the defendants, including Sheron Davis, have been identified by law enforcement as members of the Nine Trey Gangsters set of the Bloods street gang.
The investigation involved the use of electronic and physical surveillance. On Nov. 5, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at five locations in connection with the alleged drug operation, including residences in Baldwin, Hempstead and Freeport.
The search warrants resulted in the seizure of cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, various cutting agents, assorted pills, a hydraulic kilo press, numerous digital scales, packaging materials, approximately $4,000 United States Currency, blenders containing narcotics, and sophisticated counter-surveillance equipment. Law enforcement officers also seized a loaded .45 caliber pistol, a .38 caliber revolver, and two .9 mm magazines and assorted ammunition.
Investigators also seized a 2018 Toyota Camry belonging to Diaz Bautista that was outfitted with two electronic traps, or secret compartments commonly used for covert drug trafficking. They also seized two BMWs used in the commission of narcotics transactions.
“DEA’s Heroin Enforcement Team investigations quickly and efficiently identify drug traffickers at all levels in order to shut down their operations and save lives,” said Keith G. Kruskall, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New York Division. “This week we arrested a group of violent drug offenders who were threats to public health and public safety. Law enforcement’s collaborative effort is tantamount to communities’ educational efforts to inform the public of the dangers of drug abuse while putting those responsible in jail.”
“ATF stands committed to working with all of its state, local and federal partners to curb the spread of illegal narcotics and the death and violence it brings to our communities. I would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners for their collaboration and communication that made this case possible. I would also like to thank the District Attorney’s office for their work in prosecuting the case,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s New York Field Division.
“The 19 indictments that were announced through ‘Operation Money Gram’ is another clear example of how this multi-jurisdictional investigation by the Long Island Heroin Task Force and other agencies are tackling criminal activity on Long Island,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “Law enforcement arrested gang members, removed large amounts of illegal drugs from our streets and confiscated illegal weapons, thus keeping our residents safe. Through the combined efforts of these investigative agencies, we will continue to remove these criminals from our communities and I congratulate all on a job well done.”
“The collaborative efforts of these agencies brought a successful end to a narcotics distribution ring operating on Long Island and New York City,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. “The Suffolk County Police Department is committed to pursuing traffickers and ridding our communities of drug supply. It is imperative that these dealers are brought to justice as they are spreading poison and ruining the lives of those who are addicted as well as their families. I would like to thank the investigators involved in ‘Operation Moneygram’ as their dedicated work is certainly saving lives as well as the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for their dedication in prosecuting these individuals.”
The Hempstead Village Police Department also assisted in the investigation and arrests.
This case is being prosecuted by Bureau Chief Christiana McSloy and Assistant District Attorney Erin Cho, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office
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