Major Narcotic Supply Chain from New York City to Albany County Disrupted: Five Arrested and Six Guns Seized
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares and New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II announced today the arrest and indictment of five members of a Brooklyn-based criminal organization known as the “Outlaws” who are charged with trafficking in large quantities of cocaine. Customers included street-level drug dealers in New York City and in Upstate New York. Six guns were seized during the investigation.
The arrests, which began on May 1, 2017 and concluded yesterday, are the result of a long-term wiretap investigation by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Gun Violence Suppression Division, the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Police.
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares submitted multiple eavesdropping applications for court authorization. The New York State Police monitored the wiretap in Albany.
Defendants CLIVE LAROC, TERRELL EDWARDS, OWEN MARK WATSON, BURDETTE MARSHALL and WALTER PORTER are named in an indictment filed by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office. Charges include Conspiracy in the Second and Fourth Degrees, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First, Second, Third and Fifth Degrees, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Resisting Arrest and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree.
LAROC remained at large until yesterday, when he appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court in order to attend a court appearance related to an earlier arrest. Police took LAROC into custody and he was subsequently arraigned on charges of Conspiracy in the Second and Fourth Degrees, 10 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Firearm and Resisting Arrest. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Felicia A. Mennin set bail at $350,000 bond or $300,000 cash. The other four defendants were previously arraigned.
The investigation began in April 2016 based on information from the Albany County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Police that drug dealers in the vicinity of Albany and Schenectady were travelling to New York City to purchase cocaine and heroin from Brooklyn-based suppliers. Investigators identified LAROC and EDWARDS as the suspected narcotics suppliers, prompting the Albany County District Attorney’s Office to share this intelligence with the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office’s Heroin Interdiction Team (HIT), which coordinates with counties across the state on narcotics cases that track back to New York City.
The NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Division developed information that LAROC and EDWARDS were alleged members of the Brooklyn-based “Outlaws” gang. The investigation probed reports of links to violent crime in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and a total of six guns were seized.
During the charged conspiracy between April 28, 2016 and November 16, 2016, LAROC, EDWARDS, WATSON, MARSHALL and PORTER together conspired to obtain kilogram quantities of cocaine and to then resell the cocaine, in the form of both powder and crack-cocaine. The defendants supplied one another with narcotics and communicated about drug sales and money owed in phone calls. The defendants also communicated with customers via cellphone calls and messaging applications. They are estimated to have sold multiple kilograms of cocaine each month, with a kilogram carrying a price of approximately $36,000 wholesale.
In one of the largest drug transactions of the investigation, LAROC allegedly sold approximately two kilograms of cocaine (over four pounds) to an uncharged customer on May 11, 2016. Surveillance and conversations recorded during the court authorized wiretap investigation established that on that day LAROC left his home at 745 Logan Street carrying a bag containing the cocaine and returned home with a different bag, presumably containing money.
On May 18, 2016, MARSHALL allegedly sold LAROC three kilograms of cocaine (over six and a half pounds). That same day, LAROC was captured on security footage meeting with an uncharged drug customer at the Home Depot parking lot in Brooklyn’s Gateway Center, where, LAROC allegedly sold approximately 170 grams of cocaine after he and the customer pulled their vehicles up alongside one another.
On November 9, 2016, LAROC was arrested after investigators learned that he was returning by bus from a trip to Ohio and was likely in possession of a gun, narcotics and narcotics proceeds. Members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Group Z-41, approached LAROC as he disembarked from the bus at 185 Canal Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown. LAROC unsuccessfully attempted to flee. However, agents and officers stopped him and recovered a gun, $25,000 cash and approximately three ounces of cocaine. He was subsequently released on bail.
A week later, NYPD officers conducted court authorized searches at multiple locations associated with the defendants, including LAROC’s home at 745 Logan Street and at his parents’ residence at 451 East 52nd Street, both in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Police recovered two additional guns at these residences. Police also conducted a court authorized search of EDWARD’s residence at 170-36 Cedarcroft Road, Apt. 1F in Jamaica, Queens and recovered yet another gun, cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting PORTER for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and related charges after PORTER was stopped in a vehicle in Brooklyn with two guns on July 21, 2016. This stop was a result of the court authorized wiretap investigation.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Heroin Interdiction Team (HIT) and Special Investigations Bureau, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares, the New York City Police Department’s Gun Violence Suppression Division, the New York State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Group Z-41.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “Collaboration and cooperation were critical to the success of this investigation. Albany County District Attorney David Soares and the State Police made sure that the Brooklyn supply line fueling narcotics traffickers in Albany was clipped. The New York City Police Department, and Brooklyn District Attorney Office worked closely with our office to arrest the suppliers, seize drugs intended for broad distribution and recover the guns purchased with the illicit profits. I thank all of our partners for their dedication and commitment to this case.”
"This year-long investigation recovered six firearms and shut down a cocaine trafficking operation that moved several kilos a month in New York City and Upstate New York," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "I want to thank the NYPD detectives and our partners in law enforcement for their work on this investigation, which targeted - with precision - the dangerous people, guns and drugs we want to get off our streets."
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “These defendants allegedly sold and distributed massive amounts of cocaine for resale throughout our state and were ready to commit acts of violence to protect their organization, as evidenced by the recovered firearms. Narcotic distribution rings often operate across county lines, as was allegedly the case here, which makes cooperation between agencies crucial to any successful investigation and prosecution. I commend Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and all the other partners that worked together on this successful investigation, showing that we are all committed to weeding out drug traffickers, and the violence they breed, from our communities.”
Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares said, “Traffickers who mistakenly operate their illegal trade without borders have just realized that law enforcement does in fact work in concert when public safety is compromised in our great state. This illegal drug and gun pipeline was shut down due to the collaborative efforts of many, with special recognition owed to Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan and her team, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, the New York City Police Department’s Gun Violence Suppression Division, the New York State Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Group Z-41. We look forward to continuing this partnership – this will not be the last time our collaborative efforts identify and take down traffickers and their illegal operations.”
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “These arrests show how important collaboration and information sharing are with law enforcement agencies across our state. These valuable partnerships were instrumental in these arrests and the dismantling of a dangerous criminal organization. We will not tolerate any kind of illegal drug activity in our communities. The State Police and our partners will continue to work together to rid our communities of these dangerous narcotics and the violence that comes with them.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office
Albany County District Attorney’s Office
New York City Police Department
New York State Police