ALBANY, N.Y. - Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a 226-count indictment charging 31 defendants with distributing large quantities of cocaine throughout the Capital Region, including Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties.
Two of the defendants have also been charged with conspiracy to commit murder after wiretaps uncovered a murder plot, Schneiderman said.
During the operation code-named "Operation North Star," state and local law enforcement agents led by the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force, the Albany Police Department and the New York State Police, concluded an 11-month investigation into this drug network that was conducting illicit activities on the streets of the Capital Region.
During the investigation, police seized 1,982 grams of cocaine with an approximate street value of $200,000, more than $100,000 in cash that was generated through cocaine trafficking, three vehicles, a bulletproof vest, and a hand gun which were to be used in an imminent murder.
"These networks created a pipeline of illegal drugs from New York City to the Capital Region that polluted our communities. Operation North Star shut down this massive criminal enterprise and stopped the flow of these dangerous narcotics," said Schneiderman.
Charges against the 31 people, who range from 17-years-old to 58-years-old include Criminal Sale and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and second degree Conspiracy, all felonies, in relation to their involvement in the cocaine trafficking network.
One of the defendants, 26-year-old Andrew Smith of Schenectady, is charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, which carries the potential of a life sentence.
The handgun seized as part of an effort to thwart a plot to commit murder. Defendants 31-year-old Emerald Cancer of Albany and 33-year-old Rondell Jackson of Albany are alleged to have conspired to lure the intended victim of the murder plot, Santonieo Miller, to a secluded location in order to shoot him. It is believed that the motive for the plot to kill Miller was drug related.
All charged are: Luann Bennett, 51, Albany; Sean Bennett, 28, Albany; Nailon Blair, 36, Schenectady; Lequanda Bozeman, 29, Albany; Shaquel Brown, 29, Albany; Emerald Cancer, 31, Albany; Latoya Cancer, 33, Albany; Henry Crawford, 25, Albany; David Crowley, 26, Albany; Luisa Cuesta, 49, Rensselaer; Karnell Gordon, 27, Albany; Derick Harris, 35, Albany; Kareem Hood, 23, East Greenbush; Joshua Hunter, 34, Schenectady; Rondell Jackson, 33, Albany; Tony Jefferson, 58, Albany; Demetris King, 26, Albany; Norman Lewis, 33, Albany; Sandra Matos, 43, Albany; Ishmael McCarthy, 24, Albany; Shamel McCarthy, 20, Albany; Ameek Nixon, 27, Albany; Tashon Robertson, 22, Troy; Shakir Redmon, 31, Albany; Kode Sealey, 29, Albany; Leequan Thomas, 17, Albany; Walter Turner, Jr., 43, Albany; Shawn Ubrich, 40, Delmar; Errol Williams, 22, Albany; and Dasean Willis, 29, Albany.