On Tuesday, February 2, 11 individuals, including two Sunset Park residents, were indicted in connection with a narcotics trafficking ring that operated primarily in southern Brooklyn.
The charges include selling cocaine and heroin, including heroin mixed with fentanyl, from June 6, 2017 to Saturday, January 20 of this year.
The narcotics ring was allegedly led by 35-year-old Jorge Valerio of Coney Island. According to the investigation, the suspect operated in Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island and Gerritsen Beach before extending to Sunset Park, Bay Ridge and Staten Island, selling quantities of cocaine and heroin packaged in distinctive blue and white checkered pattern glassine envelopes costing between $100 and $7,000.
Heroin purchased during an undercover operation included samples that tested positive for the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is considered much more potent and deadly than heroin.
The ring allegedly operated seven days a week, from morning through evening, taking orders by telephone and delivering narcotics in face-to-face transactions.
It is also alleged that the defendants who delivered the narcotics to customers shared a single cell phone that was switched from person to person depending on who was on call. The ring allegedly took in approximately $17,000 a week during the course of the operation.
The NYPD executed search warrants in connection with the case on the morning of Wednesday, January 31 and recovered almost $500,000 in cash and approximately 1½ kilos of heroin and ½ kilo of cocaine.
“This indictment reflects our continuing commitment to fighting the burgeoning scourge of opioid addiction that is spreading to too many of our neighborhoods,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “These drug dealers profit from the misery of addiction, selling dangerous drugs while destroying lives and futures. Thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and prosecutors from our office, we will now seek to hold them accountable for their criminal actions.”
“As alleged, these individuals fueled the supply of narcotics in areas of Brooklyn through their drug trafficking operation, while they ignored the welfare of the communities they operated in and profited from,” added New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “I commend the NYPD investigators and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors whose hard work resulted in holding these persons accountable for their criminal actions.”
Sunset Park residents Ernest Deschamps, 27, and Baby Amanda Suriel, 23, were among the 11 charged. Coney Island residents include Valerio, Kevin Suriel, 24, and Mehdi Elymine, 28.
Other defendants include Midwood resident Joel Raymond Salas, 31; Michael Almonte, 37, of Bedford-Stuyvesant; Manuela Nunez, 39, and Nyrell Nunez, 20, of East New York; and Gabrielle Fermin, 27 and Luis Perez, 33, of Staten Island.
All 11 were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Harrington on a 273-count indictment in which they were charged with second-degree conspiracy, a B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Valerio was also charged with operating as a major trafficker, an A-I felony which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. He and the other defendants are variously charged with second-and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance; and third, fourth and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The defendants are ordered to return to court on Friday, March 23.