WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A total of 14 defendants pleaded guilty Tuesday in White Plains Federal Court to conspiring to distribute oxycodone and heroin in and around Rockland County.
Those charged were part of a sophisticated drug trafficking organization operated by Victor Esteban of Pomona, which distributed massive quantities of oxycodone and heroin, often in highly public locations, including at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, authorities said.
Since 2014, members and associates of the organization have conspired to distribute more than 50,000 oxycodone tablets, with a value in excess of $1 million, in and around Rockland County. The defendants obtained the oxycodone through deceptive means, including the use of forged and fraudulent prescriptions, said authorities. The defendants also employed lower-level members of the Organization, known as “runners,” to go to pharmacies across New York State to fill the fraudulent prescriptions.
The principal supplier of heroin to the Organization was Juan Agramonte of the Bronx, who was based in the Bronx, authorities said. Esteban pooled money with other defendants to purchase significant quantities of heroin from Agramonte in locations around Rockland, said authorities.
The defendants distributed oxycodone and heroin in a multitude of public places. They sold these illicit drugs in the parking lots of the Palisades Center Mall and at the Mount Ivy Trailer Park in Pomona, and in various motels around Rockland County, where they would rent rooms to meet with customers.
Certain defendants also celebrated their oxycodone and heroin trafficking activity on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, said authorities. Some of the defendants referred to themselves as the “TMC” crew, meaning “Too Much Cash.” For example, on one occasion, a defendant posted a message on Twitter saying, “Shout out my TMC bros we taking over the streets.”
Defendants Esteban, Andrew Flores of New City, Christian Minaya of Garnerville, Edwin Ceballos of New York City, Jimmy Rodriguez of Spring Valley and Elom Kaledzi of New City pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute oxycodone and heroin.
Defendants Miguel Cabrera of Haverstraw, Romello Deloatch of Spring Valley, Rolando Garcia of Garnerville, Wesley Jackson of Newburgh, Brandon Morillo of New York City, Ramon Morillo of New York City and Brandon Thomas of Pomona pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute oxycodone.
Agramonte pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, , Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration James Hunt and , Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
“This was a large and ongoing drug dealing conspiracy which did great harm to many people, including dozens of Rockland County residents," Zugibe said. "This case and its 14 guilty pleas are prime examples of how cooperation among federal and local law enforcement can lead to the dismantling of a significant drug trafficking organization that pushed poison into our neighborhoods.”
Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad (Group TDS-NY), which comprises agents and officers from the DEA, the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department, Town of Orangetown Police Department, and the Westchester County Police Department. He also thanked the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office for its participation, and the Internal Revenue Service for its assistance.
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