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31 Indicted After CNY Narcotics Ring Takedown


31 people have been indicted after the takedown of two narcotics rings trafficking fentanyl throughout Central New York and the North Country.

Attorney General Letitia James and Syracuse Police Chief Joseph Cecile have announced that the defendants are facing a total of 192 crimes related to drug trafficking after a year-long investigation turned up 150,000 envelopes containing over $300,000 worth of fentanyl or a mixture of fentanyl and heroin. Nearly one pound of meth, 250 grams of cocaine, over $16,500, and three illegal firearms were also recovered as part of the investigation.

Suitcases containing “blocks” of fentanyl recovered by the investigation. (Provided)

“Opioids like fentanyl have torn apart communities across our state, and organized drug trafficking rings have fueled their spread,” said Attorney General James.“This takedown is part of my office’s ongoing efforts to roll back the deadly and destructive effects of the opioid crisis. We will continue to pursue and prosecute all those who peddle illicit drugs and I thank our partners in law enforcement for their critical support and collaboration in this investigation.”

“I would like to commend and thank not only our drug detectives, but also Attorney General James’ office and every one of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners who made this lengthy and complex investigation a success,” said Syracuse Police Chief Joseph Cecile. “Thirty-one subjects thought they could peddle their poison of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine on the streets of Syracuse and across five counties with impunity. They were wrong. Thanks to motivated professionals and strong partnerships, they were wrong.”

The first indictment comes against members of the “Castro Group,” led by Bayron Castro. 23 people have been charged with 150 crimes for selling controlled substances in Onondaga, Oswego, Cortland, Jefferson, and St Lawrence Counties. Fentanyl was supplied from the Bronx and distributed throughout Central and Northern New York. Castro and his associates are accused of distributing the fentanyl to members of the Brickton gang which operates in the south side of Syracuse.

If convicted of the charge of Operating as a Major Trafficker, Castro faces a mandatory life sentence in state prison.

The second indictment comes against the “Pettiford Group, led by Edward Pettiform. Eight individuals face 42 charges for selling narcotics and meth in Onondaga and Oswego Counties. One of the indictees, Henry Townsend, was involved in the shooting on Newell Street in the city.

“Because of the critical partnerships and collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners, a dangerous drug trafficking operation has been dismantled,” said New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento. “Each arrest and each seizure saves lives and decreases the additional crimes that oftentimes coincide with these illegal drug operations. The arrests of these criminals reinforce our commitment that we will continue our aggressive posture in stopping the flow of these dangerous drugs into our neighborhoods. I thank the Attorney General’s Office and our law enforcement partners at all levels for their relentless efforts to keep illegal drugs off our streets.”

“Syracuse Police officers are working every day to combat illegal drug trafficking. I am deeply grateful for their efforts to protect our community from addiction and crime,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “This crackdown is another example of the importance of effective collaboration at all levels of law enforcement to take down trafficking networks that are tearing communities apart. I thank the Syracuse Police Department Special Investigations Division, Attorney General James, and the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force for their dedicated efforts to put an end to this crisis.”\

Recovered firearms and fentanyl. (Provided)

The following people have been charged for their involvement in the drug trafficking schemes:

Deion Bradley, 26 years old, Syracuse, NY
Bayron Castro, a/k/a “Hov”, 41 years old, Syracuse, NY
Jose Cosme, 54 years old, Syracuse, NY
Jean Carlos Cruz, 34 years old, Syracuse, NY
Miguel Cruz, a/k/a “G”, 36 years old, Liverpool, NY
Lamell Davis, a/k/a “Melly,” or “O’Melly,” a/k/a “Felix”, 29 years old, Syracuse, NY
Johnathan Delgado, a/k/a “Green Eyes”, 37 years old, Syracuse, NY
Malik Evans, a/k/a “Leek”, 35 years old, Syracuse, NY
Chad Firenze, 34 years old, Granby, NY
Terrah Frederick, 35 years old, Adams Center, NY
Jaidyn Freeman, a/k/a “Jaido”, 21 years old, Syracuse, NY
Shawn Gifford, a/k/a “Nani”, 36 years old, Syracuse, NY
Michael Hudgins, 36 years old, Syracuse, NY
Xavier Jackson, 29 years old, Syracuse, NY
Brycedon James, a/k/a “Doodak”, 24 years old, Syracuse, NY
Emmanuel Jenkins, a/k/a “Lean”, 32 years old, Syracuse, NY
Kwamea Jenkins, 23 years old, Syracuse, NY
Luis Miguel Joaquin, 35 years old, Bronx, NY
David Kalet, 36 years old, Port Byron, NY
James Kelley, 35 years old, Liverpool, NY
Christopher Lanzafame, 33 years old, Baldwinsville, NY
Docciana Mack, 34 years old, Syracuse, NY
Devine Mobley, 21 years old, Syracuse, NY
James Odom, 31 years old, Syracuse, NY
Edward Pettiford, a/k/a “Buster”, 30 years old, Syracuse, NY
Keenan Scott, a/k/a “Kasey”, 26 years old, Syracuse, NY
Jamar Sheppard, a/k/a “Ski”, 27 years old, Syracuse, NY
Carlos Torres, 30 years old, Syracuse, NY
Henry Townsend, a/k/a “Rock,” a/k/a “Henrock”, 28 years old, Syracuse, NY
Jeffrey Walts, 40 years old, Central Square, NY
Tevon Webb, a/k/a “Tay”, 28 years old, Syracuse, NY


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