Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill announced the indictment of 16 individuals for trafficking and selling narcotics in East Harlem. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.[1]

“Where money and drugs change hands, violence often follows,” said District Attorney Vance. “As alleged in the indictment, the defendants are charged with trafficking and selling narcotics in a community that is disproportionately affected by crime. All New Yorkers deserve to feel safe at home and free from danger while going about their lives, and I thank the NYPD for their partnership and continued commitment to rooting out the illegal conduct that endangers our communities.”

Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “Drug trafficking in East Harlem has been significantly disrupted with the arrest of these defendants. Thanks to the NYPD detectives and prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office whose work led to this indictment.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, between August 2016 and April 2017, the defendants engaged in the trafficking and sale of narcotics, primarily crack cocaine, in and around the Jefferson Houses, a New York City Housing Authority complex in East Harlem covering East 112th to East 115th Streets between First and Third Avenues.

BRIAN ARTIS, 37, DONTE AUSTIN, 28, DAY BRYANT, 42, SAMMY CABAN, 28, NELSON CONRAD, 30, VANCE CRICHLOW, 23, KEITH HERNANDEZ, 32, RASHAWN JENKINS, 23, JOSE LeBRON, 29, PAULETTE MASSARD, 47,  JOSE MATOS, 30, WYRON MORRIS, 32, DONOVAN QUINONES, 22, SHAHIEME SMITH, 27, ISAAC SOLER, 26, and SEAN WILLIAMS, 29, are charged with making sales to undercover detectives on at least 37 occasions; of those sales, 35 were transactions involving crack cocaine, one involved the sale of heroin and fentanyl, and one involved the sale of marijuana.

The indictment follows a joint investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and NYPD Narcotics Borough Manhattan North Major Case Unit in response to local complaints about narcotics trafficking and violent crime in the community.

Assistant District Attorney Jeannie Campbell-Urban is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Christopher Ryan, Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Investigative Analysts Jordan Petitta and William Andrewes provided additional assistance.

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, and in particular, Detectives Roberto Cordero, Jeffrey Carroll, and Erick Ortiz, Sergeant Nicole Tirado, and Lieutenant Timothy Kearns, all of the Narcotics Borough Manhattan North Major Case Unit, for their assistance with the investigation.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.