BRIDGET G. BRENNAN, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, and New York City Police Commissioner WILLIAM J. BRATTON announced the today the indictment and arrest of three defendants for their roles in an alleged scheme to sell large quantities of narcotics and firearms in Manhattan.
An undercover investigation by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Manhattan South revealed that between August 27, 2014 and December 1, 2014, the three indicted defendants, FIORE CARUSO, aka “Phil,” BERENICE ALBARRAN and JOHN ENNIS, and a fourth individual who is charged separately engaged in a total of 10 sales of narcotics to undercover police officers involving 500 grams of cocaine (more than a pound) sold for $23,000. CARUSO sold nine firearms during two additional meetings with undercover officers, with assistance from ALBARRAN and ENNIS. The guns, which included semi-automatic pistols and revolvers, sold for $16,800.
The three indicted defendants were arrested in New Jersey on December 9, 2014 and waived extradition. They are expected to be arraigned today in Manhattan Supreme Court before Judge James Burke, Part 22, at 111 Centre St.
CARUSO and ENNIS were arrested after exiting a vehicle in New Jersey. CARUSO was in possession of approximately $13,000 in cash. The car also contained a small quantity of cocaine and approximately 100 prescription pills, including oxycodone and alprazolam (commonly sold as Xanax).
BERENICE ALBARRAN was arrested inside an apartment at 29-33 51st Street, Apt. C1, Weehawken, N.J. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey Division and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force conducted a court authorized search and seized 70 grams of cocaine, 35 grams of suspected MDMA and more than 5,000 prescription pills, including a what is believed to be 3,000 pills of oxycodone and 1,000 pills of hydrocodone. Agents also seized $2,500 cash.
The fourth individual involved in the drug sales, JOHN CONTRERAS, was charged in a criminal complaint at the time of his arrest on December 9, 2014. His arrest took place at a Starbucks located at 145 Second Avenue in the East Village section of Manhattan, where CONTRERAS had agreed to meet an undercover police officer for a narcotics transaction. CONTRERAS was in possession of small quantities of cocaine and “molly” and more than 700 prescription pills, including oxycodone and alprazolam.
During the course of the investigation, undercover officers contacted CARUSO by cell phone in order to set up purchase of narcotics and weapons. CARUSO personally met with the undercover officers on six occasions, accompanied by either ENNIS or ALBARRAN. Four of these meetings involved narcotics sales and two involved gun sales.
The first gun sale took place on November 13, 2014 at approximately 9:25 p.m. outside a Starbucks at 13 Astor Place in the East Village section of Manhattan. CARUSO and ALBARRAN arrived in a vehicle. CARUSO got out and spoke with the undercover officer, leaving ALBARRAN inside the car. CARUSO then received a call on his cell phone, returned to the vehicle and removed a shopping bag. He placed the bag inside a vehicle operated by the undercover officer, who handed CARUSO $13,000 cash. The bag contained six firearms and ammunition.
Six days later at approximately 11:45 p.m. CARUSO and ENNIS met an undercover officer at 12 East 42nd Street. ENNIS waited in the car while CARUSO got out and handed the undercover officer a box containing three firearms and ammunition in exchange for $3,800 cash.
In several of the narcotics sales, CARUSO first communicated with the undercover officers by cell phone through calls and text messages prior and then directed them to meet with CONTRERAS, who carried out the transaction. CONTRERAS made six narcotics sales to the officers in the East Village.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor BRIDGET G. BRENNAN thanked the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Manhattan South, the DEA’s New Jersey Division and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey.
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release (pdf)
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
New York City Police Department