DA Vance and Commissioner Bratton Announce Indictment of Two Separate Groups for Selling Cocaine, Heroin in East Harlem

May 12, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton today announced the indictment of 12 members of “Deadgang,” a street gang based in the Wagner Houses in East Harlem, for selling cocaine beginning in November 2015. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree and various counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. 

The indictment follows a long-term, joint investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and detectives from the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan North. The investigation also revealed eight heroin and cocaine dealers unaffiliated with “Deadgang” who operated independently within the Wagner Houses. Those defendants are charged in a second indictment with one or more counts of Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. [1]

“Residents should not have to worry about illegal drug sales taking place in broad daylight in their building or courtyard,” said District Attorney Vance. “These indictments are the latest efforts by my Office and the NYPD to root out individuals who drive crime in our City’s public housing complexes, and to bring relief to neighborhoods disproportionately affected by crime. By dismantling rings that flood our streets with dangerous drugs, we improve the quality of life for hardworking, law-abiding residents and families.”

“The NYPD will not tolerate drug trafficking anywhere in our communities. We continue to be laser focused on drugs and violence in the few areas of our city where they still exist,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “I commend the work of the NYPD detectives and the prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office involved in this investigation for their continued efforts to stop the flow of drugs into the streets of New York City.”

“Deadgang” Conspiracy Indictment

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, beginning in November 2015, 12 members of “Deadgang,” operating out of the Wagner Houses, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complex located between FDR Drive and 2nd Avenue, and East 120th to East 124th Streets in East Harlem, conspired to sell quantities of cocaine. 

KOBE ARROYO; GENESIS ASKA, a/k/a “Shug;” ABDUL BILAL, a/k/a “Rah Rah;” MIKEQUAN ESTRADA; LAWRENCE MACHURO, a/k/a “Larry;” LUIS MERCADO; SHAWRU PITTMAN, a/k/a “OTF;” GIOVANNI ROLDAN, a/k/a “Gio;” RODOLFO RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Rico;” DAQWAN SAVAGE, a/k/a “T;” KENDU WATTS; and CAMBY WILSON, a/k/a “CJ;” are each charged with making multiple sales to undercover detectives over the course of the six-month conspiracy. 

Typically, defendants waited for buyers in front of businesses located adjacent to the Wagner Houses, or in a central area within the NYCHA complex. Defendants negotiated with the buyers outdoors, and then directed them inside a building in the Wagner Houses where a “Deadgang” member conducted the sales. 
Cocaine and Heroin Sellers Indictment

Separately, according to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, beginning in July 2015, eight defendants unaffiliated with “Deadgang” – including LOUIS MERCADO, CARLOS RAMOS, ROOSEVELT HOPKINS, KERMIT PARKER, VICTOR JAVIER, WARREN BRYANT, KEITH JONES, and WILSON RODRIGUEZ – are charged with independently dealing heroin and cocaine in the Wagner Houses. Each defendant is charged with making at least one sale to an undercover detective. 

Assistant District Attorney Matthew DellaBetta is prosecuting the cases under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jon Veiga, Deputy Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, and Christopher Ryan, Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, as well as Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit Investigative Analyst William Andrewes assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked Police Commissioner Bratton, Deputy Commissioner and Manhattan North Investigative Chief Lori Pollock, and members of the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan North Major Case Unit, particularly Detective Martin Campos and the undercover detectives who assisted in the investigation, as well as their supervisors Sergeant Nicole Tirado, Captain Shawn Charlson, and Deputy Inspector Patrick Cortright.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court, including the indictments, and statements made on the record in court.