Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini and the Suffolk County Police Department have announced the indictment of five individuals for an alleged major narcotics trafficking operation, including one defendant who is currently charged for an alleged murder in New York City.
“This is a long-term eavesdropping investigation which dismantled a large-scale narcotics distribution network and removed kilogram quantities of dangerous drugs, including fentanyl, heroin and crystal meth, from our communities, and placed a dangerous criminal behind bars,” District Attorney Sini said. “Johnson allegedly operated a one-stop-shop drug delivery service and would personally drive product to the houses of buyers or other resellers, including his co-defendants in this indictment. During the course of the investigation, he allegedly shot and killed a victim in Manhattan, but continued to conduct this illicit drug operation in the days that followed. It was business as usual for him.
“This case is an example of phenomenal collaboration between a number of different law enforcement agencies,” District Attorney Sini said. “I thank ADA Mary Skiber and the Suffolk County Police Department for their hard work in holding these defendants accountable.”
“The actions of these five individuals directly put the lives of countless Suffolk County residents at risk by exposing them to addictive narcotic drugs,” Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said. “The investigation and subsequent arrests of these criminals highlight the SCPD’s determination to dissolve narcotics trafficking and combat the threat these drugs pose to Suffolk County. I would like to thank the District Attorney’s Office for their continued partnership as well as the officers and detectives who worked diligently on this case.”
Robert C. Johnson, a/k/a “Panama,” 26, of Melville, is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, a class A-I felony; four counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A-I felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony; five counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; five counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony; Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, a class D felony; and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
Andrew Hobson, a/k/a “Kane,” 29, of West Babylon, is charged with two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony, and Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony.
Dina M. Cacace, 24, of North Babylon, is charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class A-II felony; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony; and Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony.
Ryan Sean Mahon, 38, of Northport, is charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony.
Michael J. Verrelli, 48, of Medford, is charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Department’s Telephone Records and Surveillance Section (“TRASE”), Firearms Suppression Team (“FAST”), and Narcotics Section began an investigation in April 2020 into alleged narcotics trafficking by Johnson and his associates. The investigation involved the use of physical and electronic surveillance as well as court-authorized eavesdropping.
The investigation revealed evidence that Johnson and his co-defendants were allegedly involved in the sale of numerous narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, crystal meth and cocaine, throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
Pursuant to the investigation, search warrants were conducted on June 12 by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Suffolk County Police Department’s FAST and Narcotics Section at four residences located in West Babylon, North Babylon, Melville and Great Neck and on three vehicles. Law enforcement seized more than 5.7 kilograms of narcotics, including 2,750 grams of fentanyl pills pressed as counterfeit Oxycodone; 1,798 grams of heroin; 794 grams of crystal meth; 210 grams of powder cocaine; 178 grams of crack cocaine; and 43 grams of Xanax, as well as approximately $140,000 in cash.
In collaboration with Suffolk County law enforcement, Johnson was identified by the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as having allegedly shot and killed Byron Morales, 25, of Brooklyn, in the Chelsea area of Manhattan on June 10. Following his arrest in Suffolk County on June 12, he was transferred to the custody of the NYPD. A New York County Grand Jury indicted Johnson for Murder in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. He was arraigned on those charges on June 28 and was remanded without bail.
Johnson was arraigned on the Suffolk County indictment today by Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Richard Horowitz and bail was set at $1 million cash, $2 million bond, or $4 million partially-secured bond. He is being represented by John LoTurco and is due back in court on Sept. 14.
Hobson, Cacace, Mahon and Verrelli were arraigned on Aug. 2 and are all due back in court on Sept. 14. Hobson was released on supervised release with GPS monitoring and is being represented by Anthony LaPinta. Cacece was released on supervised release and is being represented by Steven Wilutis. Mahon was released on supervised release and is being represented by Chrisophter Brocato. Verrelli was release on his own recognizance and is being represented by Toni Marie Angeli.
If convicted of the top count, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. If convicted of the top count, Hobson, Cacace, Mahon and Verrelli each face a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison.
District Attorney Sini thanks the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, New York City Police Department and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mary Skiber, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.