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April 11, 2019 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced the takedown of a major narcotics enterprise operating in the city of Mount Vernon and the Bronx with the arrest of 11 men on a 68-count indictment including charges of enterprise corruption, operating as a major trafficker, conspiracy, and criminal sale and possession of heroin and fentanyl (a synthetic opioid).

A Westchester County Grand Jury handed up the indictment which was unsealed today.

The arrests were made early Thursday morning by Mount Vernon Police, the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigators, and officers from the Westchester County Department of Public Safety (County Police) and the NYPD Bronx Heroin Task Force.

Ten defendants were taken into custody Thursday and were arraigned in Westchester County Court. Defendant, Willie Rutherford, is serving time in County Jail and will be arraigned on these charges Friday. One defendant, Victor Justice, remains at large.

On search warrants, officers seized 1.5 kilos of loose heroin, a half kilo of cocaine, 6,000 bags of heroin bearing the enterprise stamp-a red smiley face, $25,000 cash and a loaded .38 caliber revolver

This bust is the result of a seven-month investigation led by MVPD narcotics detectives, the Westchester County police and prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Investigation Division.

Statement from Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.: “This is a major hit on narcotics trafficking in Westchester County,” said DA Scarpino. “The Mount Vernon Police narcotics detectives and our Investigations Division prosecutors are to be commended for this intensive investigation that yielded a dozen arrests and 68 charges. Keeping deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl out of the pipeline can save lives and stop the collateral violence and criminal activity that goes with it. Going after these enterprises and organizations does not stop here. This office is dedicated to fighting the opioid crisis on all fronts before it takes more lives, young and old, from the families of Westchester.”

Statement from Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Robert Scott: "We have proven that the new leadership of Mount Vernon is serious about rooting out illegal guns and drugs from our safe streets. Months of vigilance by the Mount Vernon Police Department rallied multiple agencies to collaborate and eradicate access to fentanyl laced heroin, the prime culprit in causing opioid overdoses throughout America.  Our finest work continues and we praise the strong partnership with the Westchester County Police Department and the leadership of District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, a Mount Vernon native."

Statement from Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason of the Department of Public Safety: “Sharing resources and conducting joint investigations with our law enforcement partners remains one of the most effective means we have of combatting the distribution and sale of illegal narcotics in Westchester County,” said Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason of the Department of Public Safety. “The county police and its Narcotics Unit remain committed to these effective multi-agency partnerships.  I congratulate all the agencies involved for this successful investigation.”

Defendants

Walter Daniels aka T  (DOB 08/21/63)

Keith Hollar aka Blaze  (DOB 09/10/62)

Joshua Quinones aka H  (DOB 07/25/78)

James Hewlin aka Teeko or Teekus  (DOB 12/23/48)

Roy Rogers aka Fox  (DOB 09/22/55)

Leon Brooks aka Zack  (DOB 08/23/65)

Samuel Forbes aka Junior  (DOB 08/06/67)

Roderick Rivers aka Juju  (DOB 10/29/65)

Edvin Morales  (DOB 05/01/89)

William Rutherford aka Unique  (DOB 05/23/61) (to be arraigned Friday)

Victor “Vic” Justice  (DOB 03/27/73) (not in custody yet)

Lamont Killian  (DOB 12/01/54)

The Indictment
The indictment covers a time span from Oct. 4, 2018, to March 22, 2019. The indictment alleges that two defendants, Walter Daniels and Keith Hollar, acted as directors of the “Daniels Controlled Substances Organization (DCSO)”­-- an illegal organization that sold heroin and fentanyl and collected more than $75,000 as the proceeds from selling those drugs. The brand stamp on their drug packaging was a red smiley face logo. Joshua Quinones sold and profited from those drugs sales. Daniels, Hollar and Quinones are charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker, a class A-1 felony. These three also are charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a class B felony.

In addition, all 12 named defendants are charged with Count 4, Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony. Counts five through 67 charge all 12 men individually with multiple counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, and/or Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, class B felonies, based on specific drug sales. They are also charged together with Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony. 

The purpose and structure of the criminal enterprise, DCSO
It was the common purpose of the members and associates of the DCSO to engage in criminal conduct and to acquire money illegally though the sale of heroin, fentanyl and sometimes both.

The Criminal Enterprise consisted of a “boss,” a “lieutenant,” a “supplier,” a “stash house guard,” and numerous “sellers.” The “boss” and “lieutenant” oversaw the day-to-day operations of the enterprise, set the prices for the drugs sold by the enterprise and placed orders and purchased drugs from the supplier.

Daniels was the boss of the DCSO and he controlled the daily operations including communicating and meeting with Quinones, DCSO’s supplier of heroin and fentanyl. Daniels set the price for the heroin and fentanyl sold by the DCSO.

Hollar was the lieutenant of the DCSO (the Enterprise) and, as of December 2018, had been appointed by Daniels as the DCSO’s interim leader, while Daniels dealt with an illness. Hollar communicated and met with defendant Quinones to purchase heroin and fentanyl for the Enterprise. Hollar had the authority to hire and fire members of the Enterprise. On a daily basis, Hollar supplied DCSO sellers with heroin and fentanyl and collected the proceeds from the sales. Hollar was charged with stocking the Enterprise’s stash house with heroin and fentanyl, and routinely collected drug proceeds that were kept at the stash house. Hollar also sold heroin and fentanyl on the street.

James Hewlin controlled access to the DCSO’s stash house, which was located inside Hewlin’s apartment. Hewlin supplied DCSO sellers with heroin and fentanyl, and was tasked with keeping track of the proceeds from drug sales.

Defendants Roy Rogers, Roderick Rivers, Leon Brooks, Samuel Forbes, Edvin Morales, William Rutherford, Victor Justice, Lamont Killian and unnamed and uncharged others were DCSO dealers. In general, dealers provided bundles, usually 10 glassine envelopes (“glassines”) per bundle containing heroin, fentanyl and, at times, both to DCSO customers.

Other Specifics
On Count 3 Conspiracy in the Second Degree: The indictment states that Daniels, Hollar and Quinones engaged in a conspiracy from Dec. 26, 2018, to March 22, 2019. The purpose of this conspiracy was to acquire money through the operation of the DCSO. During this time, Quinones sold heroin, fentanyl and, at times both, stamped with a red smiley face logo, to Daniels and Hollar, directors of the organization, which possessed, with the intent to sell heroin, fentanyl or both, and sold heroin, fentanyl or both.  

On Count 4 Enterprise Corruption: The indictment states from Oct. 4, 2018, to March 22, 2019, the 12 defendants, aiding, abetting and acting in concert with each other and others, in Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Port Chester and other parts of Westchester County, in Bronx County and elsewhere in the State of New York, with knowledge of the existence of a criminal enterprise and the nature of its activities, and being employed and associated with such enterprise, did intentionally conduct and participate in the affairs of the enterprise by participating in a pattern of criminal activity.

Specifically, the defendants, along with other persons known and unknown, were members of and associated with an enterprise in which they shared a common purpose of engaging in criminal conduct, and were associated in a structure that was distinct from the pattern of criminal activity and that had a continuity of existence, structure and criminal purpose beyond the scope of individual incidents.

On Count 68 Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree: The indictment states all 12 defendants from Oct. 4, 2018, to March 22, 2019, took part in a conspiracy to acquire money through the operation of the DCSO. As part of this conspiracy, Daniels acted as the “boss” and Hollar acted as Daniel’s “lieutenant.” Together, they were responsible for purchasing narcotics consisting of heroin, fentanyl or both for the organization from supplier Quinones. Daniels and Hollar set prices, mentored and supplied organization sellers, supplied the organization’s stash house, and kept track of the flow of money in and out of the organization. Both Daniels and Hollar also made street sales.

As part of this conspiracy, Hewlin worked as the keeper of the organization’s stash house and also supplied sellers. Defendants Rogers, Rivers, Brooks, Forbes, Morales, Rutherford, Justice, and Killian worked as sellers of heroin and fentanyl or both for the organization. In that role, they spoke and met with Hollar, Daniels and Hewlin on a regular basis.

stack of seized drugs

Seized drugs

 In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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