For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
, United States Attorney
William J. Hochul, Jr.
Contact: Barbara Burns
Eight Defendants Charged in Elmira Heroin Trafficking Ring
New York Field Division
ROCHESTER, NY – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that eight defendants were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of one kilogram or more of a substance containing heroin, possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin, and use of a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. The charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.
Named in the complaint are:
- Israel Cedeno-Martinez, 42, a/k/a Punta
- Mark Jones, Jr., 29, a/k/a Poop
- Marcel Jones, 26, a/k/a Cell, a/k/a Bug
- Mark Jones, Sr., 53, a/k/a Pimp Juice, a/k/a Juice
- Andrew Woodhouse, 30, a/k/a Woody
- Scott Washington, a/k/a Body, a/k/a Addy
- Shareef McCray, 39, a/k/a Reef, a/k/a Gritz
- Tanner Rios, 29, a/k/a Ree
In addition, defendants Marcel Jones, Mark Jones, Jr., Mark Jones, Sr., Shareef McCray, and Tanner Rios are charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking which carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison and maximum of life to be served consecutive to any penalty received on the drug charge.
“As this case demonstrates, the scourge of heroin has now reared its head in the beautiful community of Elmira,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “To address this life and death threat, we in all levels of law enforcement are committed to using all available tools until all traffickers are brought to justice.”
ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson said “Mark Jones, Sr., Mark Jones, Jr., Marcel Jones, and their associates, distributed heroin in Elmira, New York, using firearms, violence, and intimidation to further their criminal activities. They now face lengthy sentences in a Federal penitentiary as a just reward for their conduct. Their arrests serve as a powerful message to those who peddle in violence and poison that we in law enforcement are ready to stop you, and that your drugs and guns will earn you nothing more than a lengthy stay in a 6x9 prison cell. ATF would like to extend our gratitude to the Elmira Police Department, New York State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Attorney’s Office, for their hard work and perseverance during this lengthy investigation.”
"As opioid overdose rates skyrocket, and law enforcement seize heroin in record amounts, our country is battling one of the largest drug threats to date," stated DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt. "Today's arrests have permanently dismantled an organization responsible for supplying our neighborhoods with poison used to feed addiction, enable crime and destroy families." SAC Hunt commends DEA's local, state and federal law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly throughout this investigation.
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Thanks to our continued partnership with federal and local law enforcement, the members of a dangerous drug trafficking operation are now behind bars, and we have prevented a significant amount of heroin from reaching the streets. Our message to drug dealers is simple: We will not tolerate illegal drug activity in our communities.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York State Police, Elmira Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been investigating the drug trafficking activities of the eight defendants led by Marcel Jones since July 2015.
The complaint further states that since at least 2013, the defendants distributed heroin throughout the City of Elmira, NY and the surrounding areas. The organization obtained large quantities of heroin primarily from defendant Israel Cedeno-Martinez in Trenton, New Jersey, and others including defendant Shareef McCray, an alternate source-of-supply in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Cedeno-Martinez provided large quantities of heroin to Mark Jones, Jr. who utilized 272 East Northhampton Street in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as a primary residence and a location to store, process, and package the heroin. The heroin was then transported by vehicle to Elmira and sold by multiple distributors of the organization.
The investigation determined that heroin sold by the organization contained fentanyl, a deadly narcotic sometimes added to heroin. At least three known customers of the organization died after overdosing.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Richard Allen, the Elmira Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Kane, the Chemung County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Weedon Whetmore, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson, the Elmira Heights Police Department, under the direction of Chief A. Rick Churches, the Horseheads Police Department, under the direction of Sergeant Scott C. Zelko, and the Chemung County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Christopher Moss.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.