Drug Delivery Service Sold Cocaine in Livery Cars: Five Arrested on Conspiracy, Narcotics and Weapons Charges

Approximately $300,000 cash, two pounds of cocaine and firearm in Farmingdale, L.I. home

Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill announced the arrest and indictment of five individuals on conspiracy, narcotics and weapon possession charges following a long-term undercover investigation. The defendants were involved in three overlapping narcotics operations.

This morning, EDGAR RODRIGUEZ, the alleged head of a lucrative drug delivery service in the Bushwick and East New York neighborhoods of Brooklyn, is scheduled to be arraigned before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Biben, Part 93, 100 Centre Street. Charges contained in a new indictment filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor stem from a court authorized search on October 19, 2016 at RODRIGUEZ’s home in Farmingdale, L.I., where police seized approximately $300,000 cash, a firearm, ammunition, and nearly two pounds of cocaine worth approximately $50,000 wholesale.

RODRIGUEZ faces charges of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second, Third and Fourth Degrees, Criminal Possession of a Firearm and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree in connection with this search.

The five defendants, who were arrested on October 19, 2016, are charged in connection with possessing and distributing a total of more than $70,000 in cocaine wholesale during the investigation, dubbed “Operation CityLine.” Since December of 2015, the defendants sold approximately $20,000 in cocaine during three-dozen transactions with undercover detectives from the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North. Additional evidence was gathered pursuant to court authorized wiretap applications by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. The Nassau County Police Department assisted in the search of RODRIGUEZ’s home.

Nearly two thirds of the undercover sales in the case were conducted by members of the RODRIGUEZ organization. The investigation revealed that RODRIGUEZ oversaw a fleet of registered livery cars that took on no fares, despite bearing official Department of Transportation license plates. Detectives learned that RODRIGUEZ deployed these cars for one purpose only – to sell narcotics. Sales typically took place at prearranged locations. Customers entered a livery car and were driven a short distance while the transaction took place.

Drivers employed by RODRIGUEZ took orders for cocaine by cellphone and made deliveries throughout the day and into the evening. An analysis of phone records showed the drivers and RODRIGUEZ received up to 100 calls per day associated with the narcotics trafficking operation. One alleged driver, JOSE MONTALVO-MARTI, is charged with RODRIGUEZ.

After 8 p.m., RODRIGUEZ took over handling calls and deliveries himself in a nondescript Nissan. The investigation revealed that the RODRIGUEZ organization made approximately $28,000 per week. The RODRIGUEZ organization conducted 22 sales of cocaine with undercover officers.

A deli operated by RODRIGUEZ, Nana Deli, located at 182 Wilson Avenue in Bushwick, allegedly doubled as a drug stash house. NYPD detectives observed RODRIGUEZ carrying black plastic bags that they believed contained cocaine and cash between his car and the deli. Undercover officers were instructed that known customers could buy narcotics from RODRIGUEZ at the deli by purchasing legitimate items and then requesting “candy” at the register. On October 17, 2016 an undercover officer purchased cocaine from RODRIGUEZ at the deli.

During the search of RODRIGUEZ’s residence at 12 Rose Court in Farmingdale, police found approximately $300,000 cash packaged in black plastic bags inside a black trunk in the closet of the master bedroom. Also in the bedroom were four safes, which contained approximately two pounds of cocaine, a .380 caliber firearm and ammunition. The court authorized search yielded approximately three dozen cell phones and drug packaging materials, including scales, bags and a money counter.

At the outset of the investigation, undercover officers purchased cocaine from a middle-man, ANTHONY QUINONES, at an inflated price of approximately $40 per half gram. Sales by QUINONES often took place near his home, 401 Crescent Avenue in Brooklyn. The investigation revealed that QUINONES received cocaine from two suppliers, RODRIGUEZ and another defendant, ANGELA MARTINEZ.

Eventually undercover officers began to make bulk purchases from MARTINEZ and her employee, REYMIN MIGUEL DURAN REYES. In the largest sales in the case, QUINONES and MARTINEZ sold 15 grams of cocaine to an undercover officer for $2,000 on July 13, 2016, and 64 grams for $4,000 on August 11, 2016.

All five defendants pleaded not guilty at arraignments on charges contained in the original conspiracy indictment over the past two weeks. RODRIGUEZ and MONTALVO were held on $450,000 bail and $150,000 bail respectively, while bail for the remaining defendants was set at $100,000.

Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Trial Division, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Brooklyn North and the Nassau County Police Department for their work on the case.

“This organization was wide-ranging and resourceful – using registered livery cabs and selling cocaine as ‘candy’ at a neighborhood deli. But the operation drained the community of far more than the quarter of a million dollars seized from Edgar Rodriguez’s Farmingdale home. This highly-organized narcotics caterer stoked violence and addiction,” said Bridget G. Brennan. “Brooklyn neighborhoods are safer now that the delivery service has been put out of business.”

“These indictments underscore our determination to rid our streets of drug dealers who endanger the safety and erode the quality of life of our communities. This cocaine delivery service is now out of business thanks to the work of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, the New York City Police Department and my office,” said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

 

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

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Kati Cornell
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
(212) 815-0525

Stephen Davis
New York City Police Department
(646) 610-6700

Helen Peterson
King’s County District Attorney’s Office
(718) 250-2300

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