Attorney General James Announces Guilty Pleas Of 63 Individuals In Heroin, Fentanyl, And Cocaine Trafficking Ring In Central And Upstate NY

SYRACUSE – New York State Attorney General Letitia James today, Oct. 28, announced the guilty pleas of 63 individuals for their roles in two major narcotics trafficking operations that transported heroin, fentanyl and cocaine to Onondaga County, St. Lawrence County, Oswego County, Oneida County and Jefferson County.

The investigation resulted in the recovery of approximately 4,700 bags of heroin and fentanyl (worth approximately $140,000), and approximately 2 kilograms of cocaine (worth more than $200,000).

“These individuals flooded our communities with dangerous drugs that are putting New Yorkers at great risk,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “We are committed to rooting out drug trafficking networks and those who continue to push lethal cocktails of heroin and fentanyl that are claiming lives across our state. I thank all of our law enforcement partners for their contributions to this investigation and efforts to keep our communities safe.”

“The guilty pleas of these individuals means the end of two drug trafficking operations that transported deadly, illicit drugs to multiple counties across our state,” said New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. “I am proud of the work done by the New York State Police on this case. I am also pleased that our continued partnership with the Attorney General’s Office lead to the successful prosecution of these offenders who will face justice for their actions.”

The multi-agency investigation code-named “Operation Central City” was led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and brought together more than two dozen state, local, and federal enforcement agencies.

The investigation included covert surveillance and hundreds of hours of wiretaps, aimed at rooting out heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine dealers operating in St. Lawrence County, Oswego County, Oneida County, Onondaga County, and Jefferson County. The indictment and guilty pleas detail a sophisticated distribution ring that moved cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl from New Jersey and New York City, through Syracuse to St. Lawrence County.

After a 15 -month investigation that led to their indictment, the 63 convictions occurred over the past five months in Onondaga County Court, before Justice Thomas J. Miller.

The following is a list of some of the CNY defendants and the top charge they pled to:

DOUGLAS ADU – Liverpool, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

REGINALD BENTON – Baldwinsville, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(1)

JONATHAN BOYCE – Fulton, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

PAUL BROWN – Fulton, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree PL §110/220.09(1)

IRIZARY CHALAS – Syracuse, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

JAMAL COCHRAN – Utica, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(12)

FAITH DAVID – Liverpool, NY:Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(1)

CARLA DESIRO, a.k.a “CC” – Syracuse, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

ANTHONY DONZE – Syracuse, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree PL §220.06(1)

ADAM DURHAM – Manlius, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(1)

LOQUITA GRAHAM, a.k.a “Quita” – Syracuse, NY: Attempted Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.39(1)

JASON HORTON – Utica, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree PL §220.06(1)

JAMES KENT – Syracuse, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(12)

NICOLE KENYON – Fulton, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

CALVIN KING – Fulton, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

VINCENT LANAUX – Utica, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

DWAYNE LAWRENCE– Syracuse, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree PL §220.06(1)

LEMEL MARSHAL – Syracuse, NY: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.39(1)

EZEQUIEL MARTINEZ – Syracuse, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(1)

LOUIS MIKE – Syracuse, NY: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §220.16(12)

JOSEPH MUSCARELLA – Oswego, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

JEFFREY REEVES – Syracuse, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

EARL SCOFIELD – Utica, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

VELL KORY SMITHERS – Oswego, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree PL §110/220.09(1)

BRIAN SPAULDING, a.k.a. “Scooter” – Fulton, NY: Criminal Nuisance in the First Degree PL §240.46(1)

DAVID STELTER – Syracuse, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

JAMIE THAYER– Syracuse, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

BROOKE THOMAS – Oswego, NY: Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree PL §110/220.16(1)

JEREMY WARE – Mexico, NY: Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree PL §105.10

The investigation was led by St. Lawrence County Detective Arthur Shattuck and Attorney General OCTF Special Investigator William Elsenbeck, with the assistance of OAG Legal Support Analyst Eric Taub, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Thomas M. Wolf. The Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes.

More than two dozen agencies assisted in the investigation including St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force, the Canton Police Department, the Gouverneur Police Department, the Potsdam Police Department, the Massena Police Department, the Norfolk Police Department, the Ogdensburg City Police Department, the Syracuse Police Department, the Fulton Police Department, the Utica Police Department, Watertown Police Department, the New York State Police, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, United States Army, Criminal Investigations Division, the Cortland County Sherriff’s Office, the Oneida County Drug Task Force, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Metro-Jefferson County Drug Task Force, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Oswego County Sherriff’s Office, Oswego County Drug Task Force, Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Senior Investigative Counsel James J. Mindell, under the supervision of Upstate OCTF Deputy Chief Maria Moran. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Attorney General in Charge of OCTF. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado.