For Immediate Release
Three Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with December 2014 Fatal Shooting in Manhattan and Eleven Charged with Firearms and Drug Charges from Drug Trade between New York and Vermont
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Delano A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF"), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department ("NYPD"), announced charges against three individuals for the December 28, 2014, murder of Rashaun Nicholson, which occurred in Lower Manhattan. Specifically, CORY HARRIS, a/k/a "Hop," a/k/a "P," FRANK JENKINS, a/k/a "Frizz" and RAHEEM MALDONADO, were charged with participating in a conspiracy to commit murder for hire; murder for hire; and murder in connection with a narcotics trafficking conspiracy. In addition, HARRIS, JENKINS, and MALDONADO, along with eight others, were charged with participating in a conspiracy to transport large quantities of crack cocaine and heroin from locations in New York City, to Bennington, Vermont, for resale in Bennington. Eight of the defendants, including HARRIS, JENKINS and MALDONADO, were also charged with possessing and using firearms in connection with the narcotics trafficking offense. All 11 defendants were previously taken into custody on charges contained in a previous indictment. The 11 defendants charged in the Superseding Indictment will be arraigned in Manhattan federal court today at 4:30 p.m.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: "As alleged, these defendants not only fueled drug addiction and violence in Manhattan and the Bronx, but spread it to small towns and communities outside of New York, like Bennington, Vermont. The defendants did everything in their power, including allegedly using deadly violence, to protect their interests. Thanks to the dedicated investigators of the ATF and the NYPD, these alleged criminals are now off the street."
ATF Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid said: "As has been evidenced in this case, an investigation – when conducted in a thorough and logical manner – can take a considerable amount of time and effort before all of its layers are ultimately revealed. The exhaustive pursuit 2
for the truth by the investigators and prosecutors involved has uncovered yet another alleged crime perpetrated by Harris et al. I hope that this serves as a clear illustration to the criminal element that law enforcement will enthusiastically pursue all leads until all illegal activities are uncovered and all those responsible be deprived of their freedom."
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said: "The litany of charges alleged against these individuals demonstrates an ongoing and flagrant disregard for the law. I commend the NYPD investigators and our federal partners for disrupting this violent criminal operation; one that potentially extended well beyond New York and would have put countless innocent people in harm’s way."
As alleged in the Superseding Indictment and in other documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court1:
1 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.
On December 28, 2014, in connection with a narcotics trafficking offense, FRANK JENKINS, in exchange for a payment from CORY HARRIS and RAHEEM MALDONADO, shot and killed Rashaun Nicholson in the vicinity of 78 Catherine Street, New York, New York.
In addition, from at least in or about 2014, up to and including in or about 2015, CORY HARRIS, 31, DANIEL HERRING, 25, FRANK JENKINS, JR., 21, JARON LANGHORNE, 20, MITCHELL MALDONADO, 24, RAHEEM MALDONADO, 23, UNIQUE NEWELL, 22, ADAM PHILLIPS, 32, KRYSTAL PINSONNEAULT, 32, MIGUEL ROBLES, 31, and LUIS ZABALA, 31, conspired to sell controlled substances, including crack cocaine and heroin, in Vermont and elsewhere. Specifically, the Indictment charges (1) HARRIS, HERRING, JENKINS, LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MALDONADO, RAHEEM MALDONADO, NEWELL, and ZABALA with conspiring to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine, and at least 100 grams of heroin; (2) MIGUEL ROBLES with conspiring to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin; (3) PHILLIPS with conspiring to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine; and (4) PINSONNELAULT with conspiring to distribute mixtures and substances containing crack cocaine and heroin. HARRIS, HERRING, JENKINS, LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MALDONADO, RAHEEM MALDONADO, NEWELL, and ZABALA are charged with using and possessing firearms between 2014 and 2015, in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking conspiracy. HARRIS is also charged with using firearms in April 2012 in furtherance of a separate marijuana trafficking conspiracy.
During the time period charged in the Indictment, members of the conspiracy obtained crack and heroin from locations in New York City, including Manhattan and the Bronx, and then transported the crack and heroin to Vermont, for distribution in and around Bennington, Vermont. The members of the conspiracy sold crack and heroin from private apartments and certain motels in the Bennington area. Many of the members of the conspiracy used firearms in connection with their narcotics trafficking.
Members of the conspiracy also provided heroin, crack, and other controlled substances to certain women in and around Bennington, who were addicted, or became addicted, to those controlled substances. These women assisted members of the conspiracy with the transportation, 3
storage, and distribution of crack and heroin in exchange for additional controlled substances, or in exchange for cash that the women used, in part, to purchase additional controlled substances.
* * *
Apart from PINSONNEAULT, all of the defendants face mandatory minimum prison terms ranging from five years to 35 years, and maximum prison terms ranging from 40 years to life. PINSONNEAULT faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentences imposed on the defendants will be determined by the Court.
A chart containing the names of the defendants, and the charges and maximum penalties they face, is attached.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the New York City Police Department, the United States Marshals, the Vermont State Police, and the Bennington Police Department. Mr. Bharara also thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for District of Vermont for assisting his Office at all stages of the investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gerber and Hadassa Waxman 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.
15-310 ### CHARGE(S)
Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams and more of crack cocaine, and 100 grams and more of heroin.
CORY HARRIS, DANIEL HERRING, FRANK JENKINS JR., JARON LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MADONADO, RAHEEM MALDONADO, UNIQUE NEWELL, and LUIS ZABALA
Life in prison
Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison
Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams and more of heroin
Life in prison
Mandatory minimum: 5 years in prison