District Attorney Vance and Police Commissioner Bratton Announce Indictment of Two Major Heroin, PCP Rings


March 10, 2016

14 Firearms, 14 Kilograms of Heroin, a Gallon of Liquefied PCP, and More Than $100,000 in Cash Recovered by Detectives Executing Search Warrants

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton today announced the indictment of 20 defendants for their roles in two related drug trafficking organizations that possessed and sold large quantities of heroin and Phencyclidine (“PCP”) in Manhattan and the Bronx. The charges in the indictment filed in New York State Supreme Court include Conspiracy in the Second and Fourth Degrees, as well as Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second and Third Degrees.[1] The indictment follows a long-term investigation, including the use of court-authorized wiretaps, conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Trial Division and detectives from the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan North.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., said: “With more than one fatal opioid overdose each day, New York City’s heroin crisis is on the rise and reaching epidemic proportions. By focusing on the major distributers who are flooding our communities with these dangerous and deadly drugs, my Office and the NYPD are seeking to cut off the supply and put an end to the devastation. Heroin addictions destroys lives, families, and entire neighborhoods, and we will not tolerate those who would profit off that destruction.”

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “These indictments shutter two drug trafficking organizations that flooded the streets of the Bronx and Manhattan with large quantities of two deadly drugs: Heroin and PCP. I want to thank the Trial Division of the Manhattan DA’s office and detectives from the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan North for their work on this long-term investigation, which brought the alleged criminal acts of these 20 defendants to light.”

First Conspiracy

As alleged in the first conspiracy, beginning in September 2014, 12 defendants, including WAYNE GREEN, a/k/a “Bump,” and RUBEN GONZALEZ, a/k/a “Whitey,” are charged with selling large quantities of heroin in Manhattan and the Bronx.

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, GREEN served as the director, supervisor, and “boss” of the heroin organization by maintaining the organization’s supply; controlling processing, packaging, and distribution; providing packaged heroin to the organization’s sellers; monitoring sales and collecting proceeds; and handling large-scale heroin transfers to the organization’s other distributors.

As part of the heroin conspiracy, GREEN, with the assistance of GONZALEZ, handled customer orders over the organization’s cell phones, and arranged deliveries to customers in Manhattan and the Bronx.

The indictment charges JAMEL EALEY, SHANIQUE LATIMER, NICHOLE BROWN, RASHEEN HAMLET, DAVID GAYMON, and AMADO VEGA, JR., with conducting the organization’s deliveries, selling heroin to customers, and then transferring the proceeds of the sales to GREEN and GONZALEZ. RONNELL COOMBS, GEORGE VILLANUEVA, TERRY PATTERSON, and CURTIS DANIELS are charged with purchasing large quantities of heroin from the organization for redistribution to lower-level sellers.

As part of the alleged conspiracy, VEGA, JR., was in charge of protecting the organization’s supply of heroin and proceeds from transactions by maintaining and providing a storage location in the Bronx, while CHRISTOPHER MORRIS tested and maintained the quality of the organization’s heroin.

Second Conspiracy

As alleged in the second conspiracy, beginning in September 2015, 10 defendants, including GREEN, GONZALEZ, and VEGA, JR., are charged with selling large quantities of PCP in Manhattan and the Bronx.

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, GONZALEZ, with the assistance of GREEN, served as the director, supervisor, and “boss” of the PCP organization by maintaining the organization’s supply; controlling processing, packaging, and distribution; providing packaged PCP to the organization’s sellers; monitoring sales and collecting proceeds; and handling large-scale PCP transfers to the organization’s other distributors.

The indictment charges JASMINE CASTRO, MARIAH CASTRO, NATHAN GUZMAN, RAYMOND GOMEZ, and ELIZABETH SPARAGI with conducting the deliveries and selling PCP to customers, and then transferring the proceeds of the sales to GREEN and GONZALEZ. BERNABE LOPEZ is charged with purchasing large quantities of PCP from the organization for redistribution to lower-level sellers.

As part of the alleged conspiracy, VEGA, JR., and JASMINE CASTRO were in charge of protecting the organization’s supply of PCP and proceeds from transactions by maintaining and providing storage locations for the organization.

Yesterday, detectives executing search warrants at the defendants’ apartments recovered 14 firearms, 14 kilograms of heroin, and a gallon of liquefied PCP, as well as more than $100,000 in cash.

Assistant District Attorney Megan Joy is prosecuting the cases under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Dan M. Rather, Counsel to the Trial Division, Assistant District Attorney William Mahoney, Chief of Trial Bureau 60, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorney Desiree Sedehi provided assistance with the investigation, as did Trial Preparation Assistant Amy Lora, and Analyst Michelle Ho. Senior Supervising Rackets Investigator (Ret.) John Capers, Jr., also assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked Police Commissioner Bratton and members of the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan North, particularly Detective Liam McLaughlin of the Major Case Squad, as well as NYPD Deputy Chief Lori Pollock, Investigative Chief of Detective Borough Manhattan North.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment 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.