California to New York Narcotics Supply Chain Dismantled: Eight Arrests and Three Guns Seized

Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, announced charges against eight members of a large narcotics supply and distribution network following a long-term wiretap investigation into the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in Queens and Nassau County. Bulk quantities of narcotics were shipped from California to New York by a trio of suppliers and then distributed by a drug network in Queens. The investigation began in response to overdoses.

Two indictments filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor contain charges of Operating as a Major Trafficker, Conspiracy in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree, Unlawfully Dealing with a Child in the First Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. Three of the eight defendants are charged in criminal complaints.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz reviewed and submitted wiretap applications for court authorization. The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Queens South Major Case Team and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Queens Drug Distribution Network

Yesterday police arrested five alleged members of an alleged drug distribution network in Queens in connection with approximately two-dozen sales of cocaine and heroin to undercover officers. Defendant Damien-Pierre DIBELLO allegedly oversaw the street level organization with assistance from Pedro MIRANDA. David LIBREROS, aka “Temp,” allegedly supplied the organization with heroin. Francis DIGENA, aka “Cash,” allegedly served as a stash house manager, collecting cash from street level dealers and dispensing narcotics. Sabatina DAVELLA resides with DIBELLO and worked as an alleged street level dealer.

DIBELLO and MIRANDA were arraigned in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday and released. Arraignments for LIBREROS, DIGENA and DAVELLA are scheduled to take place today in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Sales to undercover officers occurred in Queens between November of 2018 and December of 2019. DIBELLO is charged in eight of these sales to undercover officers. Early sales all involved cocaine. Discussions during the wiretap revealed that the defendants had previously sold heroin but stopped after drug customers overdosed. Sales of heroin resumed by November of 2019. During the investigation, DIBELLO obtained narcotics from defendant Jamel BROWN, aka “Lord.”

California to New York Supply Chain

Jamel BROWN, his brother Randolph BROWN, both residents of Valley Stream, Nassau County, and Troy WILLIAMS were arrested in January of 2020 in connection with an alleged scheme to transport large quantities of cocaine and fentanyl from California to New York. WILLIAMS and the BROWN brothers allegedly used coded language to discuss procuring kilogram quantities of cocaine and fentanyl from narcotics suppliers in California. Together they shipped tens of thousands of dollars in cash to California. WILLIAMS, a resident of Queens and an employee of the New York City Department of Education, allegedly set up the meetings with the narcotics suppliers in California. Jamel BROWN allegedly travelled from New York to California to obtain narcotics on behalf of himself, WILLIAMS and Randolph BROWN and then shipped the narcotics to New York. Two such packages of narcotics with a combined value of approximately $120,000 were intercepted during the investigation. A kilogram of fentanyl was also recovered from a car belonging to WILLIAMS. The car was parked outside his place of work, Middle School I.S. 59, located at 132-55 Ridgedale Street, Springfield Gardens, Queens.

In early December of 2019, the defendants allegedly discussed plans for Jamel BROWN to travel to California to purchase cocaine and fentanyl, which they referred to as “the regulars” and “the ugly.” They also discussed “shooting change,” alleged code for shipping money. On December 7, 2019, a UPS packaged addressed to Jamel BROWN was shipped from New York to a UPS store in North Hollywood with a return address associated with Jamel BROWN in Valley Stream. This package is believed to have contained approximately $36,000. Jamel BROWN travelled to California and picked up the package before allegedly attending a meeting with the narcotics suppliers at a hotel on December 9, 2019. Subsequently, Jamel BROWN allegedly shipped two kilograms of cocaine to a recipient in Rockville Centre in Nassau County via the U.S. Postal Service.

The package of narcotics was intercepted in Bethpage, Long Island on December 11, 2019 and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted a court authorized search. Inside were two kilograms of cocaine (over four pounds) and a black GPS tracking device. In text messages on December 13, 2019, Randolph BROWN told WILLIAMS they “took a hit” and the shipment “never came.”

In January of 2020, the trio again allegedly discussed plans for Jamel BROWN to travel to California to purchase narcotics, which he did on January 22, 2020. This time Jamel BROWN allegedly shipped another two kilograms of cocaine, as well as a quantity of fentanyl and a GPS tracking device to a UPS store in Valley Stream. On January 29, 2020, a UPS employee intercepted the package at a facility in Springfield Gardens, Queens. That same day, Jamel BROWN was observed parked outside the facility in his Blue BMW. In a phone call with WILLIAMS, Jamel BROWN said that it appeared from the GPS tracking device that the package was located in the parking lot rather than inside the warehouse. “I’m waiting for a car to move, but sometimes that sh—s not that accurate, so I don’t know, but it don’t look good,” Jamel BROWN allegedly said.

A court authorized search of the package yielded two steel cans each containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine, approximately 40 grams of fentanyl contained in a sealed bag and a black GPS tracking device.

Police arrested Jamel BROWN and Randolph BROWN on January 29, 2020 and conducted court authorized searches of their homes. In searches of two Valley Stream addresses associated with Jamel BROWN, 955 Fenwood Drive and 27 Birchwood Drive North, police recovered quantities of cocaine, a handgun, drug packaging materials, including a kilogram press, and approximately $10,000 cash. A search of Randolph BROWN’s home at 30 Hudson Avenue in Valley Stream and his vehicle, a grey BMW, yielded over a pound of cocaine, two handguns, drug packaging paraphernalia and more than $54,000 cash. Three children ages 16, 12 and 10 were present in the home.

Police arrested WILLIAMS on January 30, 2020 as he left Middle School I.S. 59, where he works as a custodian, and entered his car. A search of the car, a black Mercedes, yielded a kilogram of fentanyl wrapped in plastic with a street value of over $200,000. Two phones identified during the wiretap investigation were found inside the pocket of a jacket belonging to WILLIAMS which was hanging in an employee common area of the school.

WILLIAMS, Jamel BROWN and Randolph BROWN were released on bail in February.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Special Investigation Bureau, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Queens South Major Case Team and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their work on the investigation.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “The crimes charged expose the inner workings of an organization set up to distribute deadly drugs in New York City and Long Island, and how a school custodian with a side job as a high level distributor brazenly went to work with a kilogram of fentanyl concealed in his Mercedes. These arrests demonstrate our steadfast commitment to protect our city."

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said, “Those who bring deadly narcotics into our neighborhoods are contributing to the deadly opioid epidemic. And when firearms are added to the cocktail, this puts far more people’s lives in danger. I want to thank Special Narcotics Prosecutor Brennan and NYPD Commissioner Shea and their teams for their diligence in getting major drug and gun traffickers off our community streets.”

“Law enforcement has smashed this cross-country ring of alleged drug distributors who spread heroin, cocaine and deadly fentanyl across our streets. This investigation is another success for the NYPD, and our state and federal partners in the fight against illegal narcotics traffickers,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service said, “The arrest of these individuals is an example of the commitment of Postal Inspectors and their law enforcement partners to keep the streets safe from illegal drugs, while preventing criminal misuse of the mail.”

The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office

Kati Cornell

(212) 815-0525

 

Queens District Attorney’s Office

Ikimulisa Livingston

(718) 286-6315

 

New York City Police Department

Richard Esposito

(646) 610-6700

 

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Donna Harris

(646) 717-3424

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