DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 15, 2015
Preet Bharara
, United States Attorney
Contact: Charles Mulham

Twelve Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with Narcotics Trafficking and Firearms Possession in Vermont and New York City

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Eugenia Cowles, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, Delano A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), Michael Greco, the United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York, and Colonel Thomas L’Esperance, Director of the Vermont State Police (“VSP”), announced the unsealing yesterday of an indictment charging 12 defendants 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.  Seven of the 12 defendants were also charged with possessing and using firearms in connection with the narcotics trafficking conspiracy.  Seven defendants were taken into custody on June 23 and June 24, 2015. Six of them were presented in Manhattan federal court on June 24, 2015, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman. One is expected to be presented today. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated:  “Yesterday’s arrests show once again that guns and illegal drugs seem to go hand in hand.  These defendants allegedly peddled crack cocaine and heroin, shuttling from Manhattan and the Bronx to Bennington, Vermont.  Illegal drugs, and the guns that go with them, are not just an urban problem or a local problem but a national one.  I thank my colleagues from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont, as well as all of our law enforcement partners, for their partnership and their dedication to fighting the dangers of drug trafficking in our communities.”  

Acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia Cowles stated: “The District of Vermont is pleased to be working with our law enforcement colleagues in New York City to prosecute those who come to Vermont to traffic in guns and drugs.  For too long, heroin from New York City and guns from Vermont have been exchanged with lethal consequences in both districts.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Reid stated: “Up until yesterday, the illicit trade of narcotics for weapons flourished from the streets of New York City to Bennington, Vermont. The United States Attorney's Office, the ATF and its law enforcement partners swiftly gathered the evidence necessary and now, in one fell swoop, have cast a wide, multi-State and multi-jurisdictional net over the alleged illegal activities of the Cory Harris et. al. conspiracy. Their arrests should serve as a stark reminder that the long arm of the law can easily extend into other States when necessary and remove from society those who don't deserve to inhabit it.”

NYPD Commissioner Bratton stated:  “These arrests and indictments are the result of our coordinated efforts to stop the sale and distribution of illegal firearms and narcotics. I want to commend the NYPD investigators involved in this case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District, and our many law enforcement partners for their cooperation in this case and the resulting arrests.”

U.S. Marshal Michael Greco stated: “My office is completely committed to supporting our local, city, state and federal partners in apprehending the most dangerous criminals on our streets.  The continued cooperation of our agencies is paramount to the success of these complex missions.  I’m proud to be able to combine our resources and collaborate efforts in order to achieve our common goal.”

Vermont Sate Police Director Thomas L’Esperance stated: “I appreciate the collaboration between the Vermont Drug Task Force, NYPD, The U.S. Attorney’s Offices, ATF and the United Sates Marshals Service. This is a great example of the positive results that are achieved when law enforcement agencies and prosecutors work cooperatively across jurisdictional lines and all levels of government to ensure the safety of our communities.”     

 As alleged in the Indictment unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court and statements made at yesterday’s court proceedings:

From at least 2014 up to and including 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, ANDREW ROBLES, 21, 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) HERRING, JENKINS, LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MALDONADO, NEWELL, ANDREW ROBLES, and ZABALA with conspiring to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine, and at least 100 grams of heroin;  (2) HARRIS, RAHEEM MALDONADO, and 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) PINSONNEAULT with conspiring to distribute mixtures and substances containing crack cocaine and heroin.  HARRIS, JENKINS, LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MALDONADO, NEWELL, ANDREW ROBLES, 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 possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

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, 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 no mandatory term of imprisonment and 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 who were arrested today, 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 Service, the Vermont State Police, and the Bennington Police Department.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hadassa Waxman and Michael Gerber 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.

 

CHARGE(S)

DEFENDANTS

MAXIMUM PENALTIES

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams and more of crack cocaine, and 100 grams and more of heroin.

DANIEL HERRING, FRANK  JENKINS JR., JARON LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MADONADO, UNIQUE NEWELL, ANDREW ROBLES 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

CORY HARRIS, RAHEEM MALDONADO and MIGUEL ROBLES.

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum: five years in prison

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 280 grams and more of crack cocaine

ADAM PHILLIPS

Life in prison

 

Mandatory minimum: 10 years in prison

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin

KRYSTAL PINSONNEAULT

20 years in prison

Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics trafficking offense

CORY HARRIS (2 counts), FRANK  JENKINS JR., JARON LANGHORNE, MITCHELL MADONADO, UNIQUE NEWELL, ANDREW ROBLES and LUIS ZABALA

Life in prison

Mandatory minimum: five years in prison, to be imposed consecutively to any other sentence

 

### 

Field Division: New York Field Division