One Defendant, Charged as a Major Trafficker, Allegedly Distributed Cocaine from Residence in Close Proximity to Local Church.
Riverhead, NY - March 29, 2019 - Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini and the Suffolk County Police Department today announced the indictment of three alleged drug dealers for trafficking cocaine in Suffolk County.
“It is our mission with these cases to clean up our communities and to stop the sale of dangerous drugs throughout the county,” District Attorney Sini said. “In this particular case, we seized three kilograms of cocaine from the main target of this investigation, which he had purchased from a supplier in Texas and was attempting to bring back to distribute in Suffolk County. That’s three kilograms of drugs that never made it onto our streets and into our communities because of the extraordinary work of the Suffolk County Police Department and prosecutors in my office, particularly the members of our Special Narcotics Unit.”
“This indictment charging this trio in connection with trafficking cocaine in Suffolk County marks the success of a nearly year-long investigation by the Suffolk County Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “The department is dedicated to pursuing and stopping dealers who are fueling the spread of narcotics to the most vulnerable, drug-addicted people, harming not only the addicts but also their families and the community as a whole.”
Jonny Giron, 25, of Copiague, is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, an A-1 felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, as an A-1 felony; Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, as an A-1 felony; eight counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, as an A-2 felony; Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a B felony; 10 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a B felony; and Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a B felony.
Victor Alzate, 35, of Wyandanch, is charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a B felony.
Santos Rene Canales Gutierrez, 35, of Wyandanch, is charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a B felony; three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a B felony; and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, an A misdemeanor.
An investigation by the District Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Department into the defendants’ alleged illegal trafficking of narcotics began in April 2018 and involved the use of undercover officers as well as physical and electronic surveillance.
“One of the most dangerous investigative tactics that law enforcement utilizes is the use of undercover police officers. Those officers risk their lives every time they make a drug purchase from a criminal,” District Attorney Sini said. “I want to thank the Suffolk County Police Department, and in particular the fine detectives who put their lives on the line to make our streets safer.”
The investigation revealed evidence that the defendants were allegedly selling powder cocaine on a daily basis in Suffolk County, particularly in the Copiague, Amityville, Wyandanch, and Bay Shore areas, as well as in Nassau County. During the course of the investigation, Giron allegedly sold cocaine to undercover police officers on 10 occasions.
The investigation revealed evidence that one of Giron’s cocaine suppliers was located in Houston, Texas. Earlier this month, Giron and Alzate allegedly traveled to Houston to purchase three kilograms of cocaine to bring back and distribute in Suffolk County.
As Giron was traveling from Houston back to New York after Alzate left separately, he was apprehended by the Meridian Police Department in Meridian, Mississippi, on March 12 and was found in possession of the three kilograms of cocaine in the trunk of his vehicle.
Giron is also alleged to have supplied cocaine to resellers on multiple occasions from his residence, located at 41 Simmons Street, which is located in close proximity to Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Copiague.
“This location is a stone’s throw away from one of the oldest, most respected churches on Long Island,” District Attorney Sini said. “Whenever you have a criminal operating in a particular area, there are all sorts of issues for that community: There’s an increased chance of violence and there are a lot of quality of life issues that come along with these drug houses. Because of the hard work of our prosecutors and the Suffolk County Police Department, we were able to take these dangerous individuals out of that location near that church.”
Gutierrez, who is alleged to have sold cocaine on behalf of Giron, is charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child for allegedly possessing cocaine in the presence of a two-year-old child.
If convicted of the top count, Giron faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. If convicted of the top count, Alzate and Gutierrez each face a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison.
Giron and Alzate were arraigned on the indictment today by Suffolk County Court Judge Philip Goglas. Bail was set for Giron at $2 million cash or $4 million bond. Bail was set for Alzate at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond.
Gutierrez was arraigned on the indictment on March 26 by Judge Goglas. Bail was set at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond.
Alzate and Gutierrez are due back in court on April 3. Giron is due back in court on April 19.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tisha Burrows, of the Narcotics Bureau’s Special Narcotics Unit, with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Gutierrez, of the Narcotics Bureau.
The Special Narcotics Unit, launched in 2018, focuses on the development of long-term investigations in an effort to effectively dismantle groups and organizations whose illicit activities largely impact the safety and security of Suffolk County and its residents. The Special Narcotics Unit focuses on investigating major drug traffickers operating in, and affecting, Suffolk County in collaboration with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Suffolk County Police Department. Since its inception in July 2018, the Unit has seized approximately 19 kilograms of narcotics.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.