340-Count Indictment Charges 25 Defendants With Distributing Drugs Across New York State; Suspects Allegedly Used Secret Codes to Describe Drugs
Albany, NY - June 10, 2014 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a 340-count indictment charging 25 people in connection with a drug ring that allegedly distributed heroin, cocaine, and illegal prescription medications, including Hydrocodone, Xanax, Ecstasy, and morphine, between New York City, the Capital Region, and several other upstate counties. The drug ring allegedly made extensive use of code words when communicating about drugs and drug activity.
The indictment is the result of a 10-month investigation, Operation Yardwork, that involved extensive wiretaps and surveillance to break up this criminal enterprise.
“Drug traffickers who threaten our communities and inflict untold harm on countless families will be brought to justice,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “This investigation has shut down a major drug network allegedly responsible for the sale of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal drugs in our neighborhoods, and we will continue to put drug traffickers and kingpins behind bars, where they belong.”
Wiretaps obtained in the course of the investigation revealed that the traffickers used secret code words to discuss their drug activities. For example, powder cocaine was referred to as “Christina Aguilera” while crack cocaine was “Britney.” The extensive use of code words suggests the extent defendants went to in an effort to obscure their alleged criminal activities.
Several defendants also allegedly had children with them while conducting drug transactions. When the Attorney General’s Office executed a search warrant on the home of one defendant, his two daughters were present in a house full of cocaine located in plain view. Other defendants allegedly left children home alone or unattended.
One of the defendants is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, which carries the potential of a life sentence. Charges against other defendants include Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance (class A, B, C, D felonies) and Conspiracy in the second degree (class B felony) in relation to their involvement in the narcotics trafficking network.
State and local law enforcement agents led by the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the Albany Police Department concluded the investigation into this drug network that was conducting its illicit activities across an extensive geographic region. Trafficking occurred in at least Albany, Bronx, Montgomery, New York, Oneida, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties.
This massive takedown and indictment are the culmination of a major investigation that is part of Attorney General Schneiderman's ongoing efforts to combat narcotics trafficking and other crimes through OCTF's Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative. Defendants in the case include:
The Defendant charged as a Major Trafficker:
Christopher Massey, 36, of Albany, NY
David Alpy, 20, of Mechanicville
John Carl, 44, of Waterford
Gina Carpenter, 35, of, Waterford
John Darkins, 37, of, Albany
Christine Gillard, 50, of Troy
Roger Hanna, 44, of Waterford
Rocksheen Lewis, 37, of Troy
Charles Liggins, 34, of Albany
Deanna Mccargo, 28, of Albany
William Middleton, 26, of Schenectady
Timothy Moore, 43, of Amsterdam
Javon Moshier, 18, of Albany
Cory Pinkney, 37, of New York City
Shavisa Pointer, 29, of Albany
Hassan Richardson, 27, of Troy
Lavar Richardson, 33, of Troy
Sarah Romano, 32, of Watervliet
Daniel Smith, 29, of Mechanicville
Valerie Stubbs, 43, of Albany
Rayshawn Tibbs, 35, of Albany
Jeffrey Turner, 43, of Albany
Phyllis Walker, 52, of Troy
Medina White, 37, of Albany
Ricky Wilson, 27 of Albany
The charges contained in the indictment are the result of a 10-month joint investigation by the OCTF and the City of Albany Police Department, with the assistance of the New York State Police, the New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the United States Marshals Service, Rensselaer County Task Force, City of Troy Police Department, and the City of Watervliet Police Department.
The investigation was directed by OCTF Special Investigators Jonathan Molik and John Monte, with support from Supervising Investigator William Charles and Deputy Chief Eugene Black. The Albany Police Department’s involvement was directed by Sergeant Brian Quinn and Detective Kevin Meehan, with support from Lt. Ed O’Leary, Commander Robert Sears, and Chief of Police Steven Krokoff.
The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorneys General Michael Sharpe and Andrew McElwee, with assistance from OCTF Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff. The Organized Crime Task Force is part of the Criminal Justice Division led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.
The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.