INDICTMENTS AGAINST 22 INDIVIDUALS FOR ALLEGEDLY OPERATING COCAINE AND HEROIN TRAFFICKING RINGS IN THE CAPITAL REGION
Multi-Agency Crackdown, Code-Named ‘Operation June Bug,’ Leads To Indictments Charging Defendants With Distributing Heroin And Cocaine In Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington Counties; Drug Sources In Brooklyn, Queens, Connecticut And New Jersey
Cocaine Ring Allegedly Conducted Transactions Near The Historic Belmont Horse Track In Queens
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the unsealing of three indictments charging 22 individuals with 159 criminal counts for their alleged roles in two loosely-related narcotics rings that distributed cocaine and heroin throughout the Capital Region. The indictments were unsealed in Albany County Court before the Honorable Peter Lynch. State and local law enforcement agents, led by the New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), the Albany Police Department, and the New York State Police have been investigating the drug rings for ten months. The case was code-named “Operation June Bug” after Gerard “June” Carter, an alleged central figure in the heroin distribution network.
One ring, led by Carter, allegedly trafficked heroin purchased in New Jersey to Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Washington Counties in the Capital Region. Carter had at least five re-sellers who are alleged to have been dealing the heroin in these counties. The second ring, led by Latasha “Tasha” Gause, and loosely affiliated with the ring led by Carter, allegedly trafficked cocaine obtained from suppliers in Brooklyn, Queens and Connecticut. Gause had at least nine re-sellers who are alleged to have been dealing cocaine in the Capital District.
“A heroin epidemic is devastating families in every community across our state, from New York City to the smallest towns and villages,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Today’s indictments strikes blow against those who are fueling this cycle of addiction and inflicting harm on far too many New Yorkers. My office and our law enforcement partners will not rest until we see an end to this scourge of illegal drugs.”
During the arrests of the defendants this morning, investigators seized two ounces of crack cocaine, three guns and 100 bundles heroin.
According to the indictments unsealed today, Carter, of Albany, allegedly purchased heroin from a supplier in New Jersey for $30 per bundle (a term that refers to a package of 10 individually-packaged hits of heroin). Carter and his associates allegedly met their heroin supplier, Quaddir Moss, at the Woodbury Commons Premium Outlet Mall in Orange County. Carter and the supplier allegedly used the many parking lots surrounding the outlet mall for their meetings, at which thousands of dollars were allegedly exchanged for heroin.
According to the court papers, Carter had dealers operating in several counties and selling the heroin bundles for $150, a 500 percent profit. One of Carter’s main re-sellers in the Hudson Falls area was defendant Eric Ladd, who allegedly re-sold heroin to addicts throughout Washington County. In an apparent attempt to minimize the effectiveness of law enforcement wiretapping, Carter and his associates spoke in a complex coded language associated with the Nation of Gods and Earth—a splinter organization from the Nation of Islam, with which Carter is believed to be affiliated.
Gause, the alleged central figure in the cocaine distribution ring, allegedly involved her family in drug trafficking activities. Gause’s son, Javar Malloy, 20, is charged as part of this conspiracy and with distributing cocaine in the Capital District. Her live-in boyfriend, Bu’Quan Galloway, is charged with distributing cocaine and heroin. Wiretap evidence showed that Gause, who also faces child endangerment charges because she allegedly brought her younger kids with her on drug deals, allegedly sold cocaine to other members her family on a regular basis as well.
Gause allegedly got the cocaine she trafficked from two relatives, Marklen Hay and Gary Chambers, who delivered drugs to her from the New York City area. According to the court papers, wiretap evidence showed that Chambers purchasing hundreds of grams of cocaine from a defendant listed in the indictment as John Doe near the historic Belmont horse racing track on Long Island.
The indictments, which were unsealed today, charge each of the 22 defendants with a top charge of Conspiracy In The Second Degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Other top felony charges include Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years incarceration. If convicted of all the offenses charged, defendants Gerard Carter, Gary Chambers, Bu’Quan Galloway, Latasha Gause, Dontray Lunday, Quaddir Moss, and James Patterson each face more than 75 years behind bars.
Since 2011, the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force has taken down 23 large drug and gun trafficking rings New York State. And, in the course of over 550 felony narcotics arrests, OCTF has seized over $1.5 million and 80 guns and more than 2,000 pounds of illegal drugs off our streets.
“This case is in direct response to street level gun violence that occurred in 2014,” said Albany Police Deputy Chief Brendan Cox. “Working with our law enforcement partners and the members of our community, the Albany Police Department continues to prevent violence from occurring on our streets. I thank the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the New York State Police and the United States Marshals Service for their unwavering commitment to working together and keeping the residents of Albany safe.”
The following 22 people are charged in the indictments handed up today:
- Shaquel Brown, 22, Albany, NY
- Keith Campbell, 44, Westbrook, CT
- Gerard Carter, 26, Albany, NY
- Tariq Clark, 36, Troy, NY
- Gary Chambers, 41, Rensselaer, NY
- Marcina Dean, 43, Albany, NY
- Miriam Edmunds, 26, Albany, NY
- Bu’Quan Galloway, 26, Albany, NY
- Latasha Gause, 37, Albany, NY
- Marklen Hay, 45, Queens, NY
- Eric Ladd, 36, Hudson Falls, NY
- Dontray Lunday, 34, Schenectady, NY
- Javar Malloy, 21, Albany, NY
- Ramar Milner, 30, Albany, NY
- Quaddir Moss, 35, Troy, NY
- Ernest Muller, 22, Albany, NY
- James Patterson, 43, Albany, NY
- Obar Robinson, 21, Albany, NY
- Naseir Simmons, 16, Albany, NY
- Elijah Thorpe, 35, Belleville, NJ
- Robert Tufano, 27, North Greenbush, NY
- John Doe, Queens, NY
The charges contained in the indictment are the result of an ten-month joint investigation by the OCTF and the City of Albany Police Department, with the assistance of the New York State Police, the NY National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the United States Marshalls Service.
The investigation was directed by OCTF Special Investigator John Monte, with assistance from Special Investigator William Charles, and Deputy Chief Investigator Gene Black, with assistance from Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella. The Albany Police Department’s involvement was directed by Sergeant Brian Quinn, Sergeant Richard Gorleski and Detective James Wood, under the supervision of Lt. Ed O’Leary, Commander Bob Sears, and Chief of Police Steven Krokoff. The New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) and was directed by CNET Lt. Carla DiRienzo and Senior Investigator Dan Kiley.
The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Andrew McElwee. Peri Alyse Kadanoff is the OCTF Deputy Attorney General, and Kelly Donovan is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.
The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law