12 Members Of Heroin Drug Trafficking Organization Operating In Manhattan, Bronx, And New Jersey Charged In Manhattan Federal Court
Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Carl J. Kotowski, the Special Agent in Charge of the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), today announced the unsealing of an indictment charging 12 defendants with participating in a drug trafficking organization that distributed large quantities of heroin in and around Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey, and obtained the heroin from Washington Heights and the Bronx, among other places. In conjunction with the unsealing of the Indictment, search warrants were executed at several locations in New Jersey.
Defendants MIGUEL ARIEL SUSANA, a/k/a “Jariel Santos,” QUADREE HUBBARD, JAMES F. SMITH III, a/k/a “Trey,” a/k/a “Brim Reaper,” a/k/a “Reaper,” TAHMIR RICE, DAMAR BIVINS, JAIR OLIVER, TYSHEEM SMITH, JOEL ROSADO, AVEENA VITRANO-MANLEY, and FRANK DESANTO were arrested by DEA agents this morning and will be presented in federal court in Manhattan before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses later today. Defendant MARCELLUS CUTLER has not yet been apprehended. Defendant TYRON TROTMAN is currently in custody on state charges and will be transferred to federal custody and presented at a later date. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim stated: “As alleged, this organization transported large quantities of heroin from Washington Heights and the Bronx across the Hudson to Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey, helping to fuel the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation. Today’s arrests of twelve alleged members of this heroin distribution organization is part our sustained commitment, along with our partners at the DEA, to stop the flow of heroin into and out of New York.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski said: “Today’s arrests should send a clear message to the drug traffickers that DEA and our partners are committed to keeping our neighborhoods safe. Those arrested are facing significant time in prison and will no longer be pushing their poison.”
According to the Indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court:
MIGUEL ARIEL SUSANA, a/k/a “Jariel Santos,” QUADREE HUBBARD, JAMES F. SMITH III, a/k/a “Trey,” a/k/a “Brim Reaper,” a/k/a “Reaper,” TAHMIR RICE, DAMAR BIVINS, JAIR OLIVER, MARCELLUS CUTLER, TYSHEEM SMITH, JOEL ROSADO, AVEENA VITRANO-MANLEY, TYRON TROTMAN, and FRANK DESANTO conspired to distribute significant amounts of heroin from May 2017 to August 2017, as members of a drug trafficking organization (the “DTO”) that obtained narcotics for resale from Washington Heights, New York, and the Bronx, New York, among other places, and packaged and sold those narcotics throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties. SUSANA acted as a source of supply for HUBBARD and SMITH. RICE, BIVINS, OLIVER, CUTLER, and TYSHEEM SMITH each assisted either HUBBARD or SMITH in managing certain aspects of the DTO, including in obtaining, packaging, storing, and distributing narcotics. DESANTO and TROTMAN sold heroin obtained from SMITH to street-level customers. ROSADO and VITRANO-MANLEY worked with SMITH to obtain significant quantities of narcotics, including by pooling money with SMITH.
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Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Defendants SUSANA, HUBBARD, JAMES F. SMITH III, RICE, OLIVER, and CUTLER are charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Defendants BIVINS, TYSHEEM SMITH, ROSADO, and VITRANO-MANLEY are charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Defendants TROTMAN and DESANTO are charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of heroin, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. A chart with the defendants’ ages and residences is below.
Mr. Kim thanked the DEA Monmouth Ocean HIDTA Task Force for their outstanding work on the investigation. The Monmouth Ocean HIDTA Task Force comprises representatives from the DEA, the ATF, the New Jersey State Police, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and the Neptune Township Police Department. Mr. Kim also thanked the Howell Police Department, the Freehold Township Police Department, the Lakewood Police Department, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for their assistance in this investigation. He added that the investigation is continuing.
This matter is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth A. Hanft and Michael D. Neff are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of New York