Twenty-five defendants, including 25-year-old Josie Tavera of Williamsburg, have been variously charged in a 368-count indictment with conspiracy, drug dealing and money laundering, announced Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Police Commissioner William Bratton on Thursday, September 17.
“There’s a growing heroin epidemic in New York and other parts of the country that’s taking the lives of many of our young people hooked on this deadly and highly-addictive drug,” said Thompson. “We must deal with this quiet drug plague by going after those who peddle this poison in our communities. The indictment of these 25 defendants, who include a court employee, an aspiring drug counselor, a 24-year-old man, his mother, sister, brother and two cousins, shows our determination to prevent any more families from being destroyed by heroin.”
According to Thompson, the investigation was conducted using electronic, video and physical surveillance with the indictment charging that – between January, 2015 and this month – the defendants conspired to possess and sell heroin in every borough but the Bronx.
Furthermore, the indictment alleges that Tavera was the nexus of the distribution ring, and that several of his family members helped him flood the streets of Brooklyn and beyond with heroin, sold under code-names that included “Knockout,” “Takeover, “Power Hour” and “Gucci,” among others.
All of the defendants are charged with second-degree conspiracy, which is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Others may face more.