ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Forty-seven people were arrested and indicted after a massive, yearlong investigation into two major drug and firearm distribution networks in the Capital Region.
“Dangerous drugs and weapons have no place in our communities,” said Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins at a press conference on Thursday. “We will use all available resources to address violent crime in our neighborhoods and remove any offenders responsible from our streets.”
“Operation Crosstown Quarantine” investigated two rival crosstown gangs in undercover operations. Authorities used physicals and electronic surveillance methods to build a case against the suspects, who allegedly sold and bought drugs and flashed illegal weapons on Facebook and Snapchat.
At least five indictments were unsealed in Albany County Court on Thursday. The individuals are accused in those indictments of trafficking heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, and guns. Authorities reportedly seized over 2.5 pounds of cocaine and nearly one-third of a pound of heroin mixed with fentanyl, plus oxycodone, $40,000 in cash, and nine firearms, including a ghost gun.
According to New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the “Uptown Associates” gang is a drug ring allegedly lead by Jamar Brayboy, known as “Un.” His crew reportedly bought and resold heroin and cocaine from New York City throughout the Capital Region and elsewhere in New York—and even into Vermont.
The “Downtown Associates” gang—lead by Tyshawn Morris or “Mac,” according to James—operated mostly in Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties. Also known as the “50 Gang” for their high-capacity magazines, they are allegedly responsible for many local drive-by shootings and homicides in the past year, including the fatal shooting of high school student Chyna Forney.
The takedown was a joint effort between the Office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, the Albany Police Department and District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI.
“For the past year, Albany and the surrounding areas have been plagued by violent crime that has terrorized our communities and claimed too many lives,” James said. “These individuals have allegedly flooded our streets with dangerous narcotics and are responsible for many of the shootings that have been at the center of this devastation.”
James announced the indictments on Thursday in a press conference alongside Chief Hawkins, Mayor Kathy Sheehan, District Attorney David Soares, State Sen. Neil Breslin, and Assemblymembers Patricia Fahy and John McDonald.
“If you possess an illegal gun in Albany, we will do everything in our power—including partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities to find you, arrest you, and put you in jail for a very long time,” Sheehan said.
The indictments charge the 47 people listed below with a laundry list of crimes, including conspiracy, sales and possession of controlled substances and guns, and “enterprise corruption,” which is an accusation of being involved in organized crime. Morris is also charged with with operating as a major trafficker, which carries a mandatory life sentence in state prison with a conviction.
- Alvin Foy, “Bhip,” “Chip,” 18, of Albany
- Anderson Benoit, “Mali,” 39, of Rutland, Vermont
- Angel Soto, 33, of Albany
- Anthony Golson, “Eye,” 41, of Albany
- Benjamin Badgley, 29, of Clinton
- Christina Lewis, 52, of Rensselaer
- Daion Morris, 28, of Rensselaer
- Daniel Ingersoll, 38, of Albany
- Darrell Anderson, 29, of Schenectady
- Derek George, 29, of Albany
- Dontray Lunday, 41, of Schenectady
- Drew Greene, “Drizzy,” “Tay K,” “Spray,” 19, of Albany
- El-Shaquille Douglas, “Dolo,” 27, of Albany
- Emmanuel Smith, 50, of Warren
- Erica Mason, 38, of Warren
- Eshawn Berkley, 23, of Albany
- Frederick Heidelmark, 48, of Albany
- Frederick Williams, 32, of Albany
- Jahmere Manning, “Splash,” 19, of Albany
- Jamar Brayboy, “Un,” 43, of Albany
- Jessie Corner, 47, of Albany
- Joemar Nunez, 24, of Albany
- John Chapman, 51, of Albany
- Jorge Mendez, “Kushie Sunoco,” 27, of Albany
- Jose Miller, 52, of Albany
- Josue Nunez, “Sway,” 40, of Albany
- Kacy Weaver, 47, of Albany
- Kayontee Bartee, 23, of Albany
- Keion Kirkley, “Hit,” 22, of Albany
- Kymale Thompson, “Glo,” 18, of Albany
- Luis Navarro, “LV,” 34, of Schenectady
- Manief Fields, 27, of Albany
- Marcus Villano, 50, of Schenectady
- Mazene Lacy, 41, of Albany
- Neylon Wagner, “Loto,” 19, of Schenectady
- Nicholas Higgins, “Slick,” 28, of Albany
- Niezier Ellis, “Neecho,” 26, of Albany
- Pedro Davila, 26, of Albany
- Prince Cureton, 28, of Albany
- Rizel Sims, 31, Montgomery
- Ronald Berg, 39, of Schenectady
- Ronald Evans, “Gotti,” 44, of Albany
- Ronald Perser, 69, of Albany
- Theresa Stanley, 38, of Albany
- Thomas Hemmingway, 41, of Albany
- Tyshwan Morris, “Mac,” 29, of Schenectady
- Zaequial Shaw, 19, of Albany